The APRA Best Original Music in a Feature Film and APRA Best Original Music in a Series Awards celebrate New Zealand's screen composers. The awards recognise the relationship that composers have with cinema and the power of music to illuminate, elevate and support real and imagined worlds, narratives, images and performances.
2020 finalists for APRA Best Original Music In A Series Award:
Claire Cowan is a prolific Auckland based composer, and won Best Original Music in a Series for her work on Hillary in 2017. This year she’s a finalist in both categories. Firstly for her innovative work on Queenstown-based mystery series One Lane Bridge, evoking the eerie solitude of the landscape and familial tensions, and secondly for her energetic score for larger-than-life drama Runaway Millionaires, based on the true story of the Kiwi couple who ended up with $10 million in their bank account by accident, and decided to take off to China to see if they could evade authorities and keep the cash.
Wellington’s David Long (also a former finalist and winner) is recognized this year for his work on the sumptuous international co-production of The Luminaries. Based on Eleanor Catton’s acclaimed historical novel, and series unravels an incredible tale of star-crossed love bound up in a gold-rush mystery, and Long’s score carefully intertwines the spiritual with the gritty, building drama while also delineating the many characters who cross paths.
The names Don McGlashan and Harry Sinclair are synonymous with the innovative and hilarious 80s musical creations of The Front Lawn. Now they have transposed that same knack for whimsy and delight to children’s animated TV series Kiri and Lou, for which they are finalists. Blending songs with soundscapes that highlight the adventures of the two pre-historic mates of disparate sizes, they capture a wild natural world, and encourage subtle life lessons we can all relate to.
Having carved a successful career as the bass player in Die! Die! Die!, Lachlan Anderson has been concurrently emerging as an in-demand screen composer both in Aotearoa and internationally. Having been applauded for his work on Belgian Netflix hit Tabula Rasa, and London-based true life thriller 6 Days, he’s recently returned to Auckland and completed work on transgender drama Rūrangi and high intensity action adventure series The Dead Lands – for which he is nominated.
Karl Steven is no stranger to the APRA Screen Awards, having been nominated six times, and won twice. This year, his work on cult horror thriller (with a touch of comedy) Come To Daddy is a finalist, applauded for its characterful chamber orchestra score which balances intrigue, knife-edge tension, and mayhem, enhancing the unpredictable storyline that unfolds as a son reunites with his estranged father in a remote location.
Also a former finalist and winner, Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper is known for his playful, innovative scores, and this year’s nomination is no different. The Legend of Baron To’a is a Kiwi-Polynesian action comedy which finds pathos in amongst the exceptionally choreographed and shot fight scenes, and Bridgman-Cooper’s music gives it extra punch and energy, with touches of island inspiration.
The judges for the 2020 APRA Screen Awards were: Amanda Brown, Janet Roddick, Rhian Sheehan, and Tom McLeod.
All awards will be presented at Auckland Town Hall on Wednesday October 14th