2021 Film Scoring Judges
Duncan Thum is a two-time Emmy nominated composer and multi-instrumentalist based in Los Angeles, California. A host of sonic explorations lead Duncan from co-forming LA's d.i.y. music scene fixture Pizza! to performance at the Disney Hall with Glenn Branca's Hallucination City: Symphony for 100 guitars. Duncan's muse crystallized in writing music for film, where story and image provide a poignant context for his eclectic background.
Notable credits include Netflix original documentary series "Chef's Table" and Apple's "Becoming You", as well as feature films "Brittany Runs A Marathon" and "A Secret Love". Duncan is a graduate of USC's esteemed SMPTV film scoring program.
Known for creating poignant soundscapes, Emer Kinsella has been involved in critically-acclaimed films, television series and live performances. Having played violin since the age of two, her scores often combine introspective strings with electronic sounds and ambient vocals. In 2017, she won an award at Soundtrack Cologne’s European Talent Competition for Film Scoring and in 2020 won Best Score for ‘In Orbit’ at the South Film and Arts Festival in Chile, the Bucharest Shortcut Cinefest festival and the Venice Shorts film festival. She is also the first award recipient of the SESAC/New Music USA Reel Change program for diversity in film scoring. Emer's credits include working with Johnny Klimek on the hit Netflix series "Sense8" (written by The Wachowskis); the drama thriller "Jungle" starring Daniel Radcliffe; as well as with composer Andrew Kawczynski on Netflix’s Go Karts and The Eight Hundred. Emer scored the award winning film “In Orbit,” which screened at Outfest LA, Newport Beach, The Galway Film Fleadh and Cork film festivals among others. She recently completed the score to the LGBTQ Rom Com feature film ‘I Hate New Years’. In addition to scoring film and television, Emer creates experiential concerts and in 2019 organized, curated and performed the Intrinsic Strings Concert which was sponsored by BMI, VER-PRG and Vresh. The free concert integrated live orchestral musicians and virtual reality in an exploration of what brings people together, empowers and connects them to each other. Featuring music by Emer and LA-based contemporary film and video game composers, the performers presented insight into how music can unite people and create community in large metropolitan areas. Originally from Ireland, Emer studied violin performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London and the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna. Emer then received a scholarship to attend the MFA film scoring program at Columbia College Chicago. Now based in LA, Emer is also a prolific violinist and arranger and has contributed her talents to numerous projects.
“Tiffany is a cinematographer, writer, and director. She attended Middle Tennessee State University and graduated with a degree in Film Production and now resides in Los Angeles. Her Directing work includes award-winning short films, No Cleaner Threads, I’ll Be Here, After The March, and upcoming sci-fi audio drama podcast, Southbridge. Tiffany has also partnered with Panasonic on the documentary short, Backbone and mini-doc series Run Your Race.”
Wendy Blackstone is passionate about scoring films. She has composed film scores for over 130 film and TV projects to date. Equally adept in scoring drama, comedy, fiction and non-fiction, she works to create a unique score for each film. Determined to innovate, Wendy combines experimentation with the musical traditions of the past. For years she has woven originally designed sounds with acoustic ensembles as one approach to create the best music for each film.
Wendy began composing at an early age, playing various instruments from early on as well. At Conservatory, she met filmmakers in search of music for their films, setting her on a path to her lifelong passion.
Majoring in composition at the Conservatory of Music of BC, she studied electronic and experimental music with composers Charles Dodge, Noah Creshevsky, Robert Ashley. Much of her schooling came from growing up in NYC, where Wendy studied jazz with Barry Harris, and Dizzy Gillespie took her under his wing. Her cousin was the lead guitarist in Joan Jett’s band and they shared music constantly. For years she was First chair violin in orchestras and played winds and percussion in Latin bands. But perhaps most central to Wendy’s artistic persona was listening and recording with the best of New York’s vibrant and profoundly creative downtown scene (Ribot, Zorn).
Spending countless hours in art museums, watching art films incessantly and drinking in the multicultural fiber of NYC life all contributed to the richly informed pool from which Wendy still draws. Many a theme would be written between a Miro and a Calder. Racing last minute from her studio to catch an opera at the Metropolitan Opera House or offbeat performance was another source of inspiration.
Royal Television Society award winning composer, Nainita Desai, is an Ivor Novello Awards, Cinema Eye Honors and British Independent Film Awards nominee, a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit, the International Film Music Critics Association Breakthrough Composer of 2020 and described by Film4 as one of the top five composers of 2020.
Her recent projects include Oscar nominated and BAFTA and Cannes winning feature documentary ‘For Sama,’ and ‘The Reason I Jump’, an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity. The ground-breaking feature, which won an Audience Award at Sundance in 2020, is based on the nonfiction bestseller by Naoki Higashida. Other recent credits include: BBC drama series, ‘Unprecedented’; Netflix’s most-watched documentary, ‘American Murder: The Family Next Door’; psychological horror film ‘Darkness Visible’; the number one Netflix India series ‘Bad Boy Billionaires’; and the acclaimed interactive video game ‘Telling Lies’, released by Annapurna Interactive.
Nainita moves seamlessly between working with orchestras and song writing, with her musical foundations rooted in world music; she composes using her collection of custom-made instruments, electronics and found sound. This innate musical skill set, coupled with a background in sound design and technical innovation, has fuelled her powerful and emotive scores. Her original approach to composition involves deeply researched collaborations to find those voices that are not usually heard, creating sounds that are truly unique, and ensuring that she is one of the most sought-after composers for both drama and documentary.
2021 projects include: Netflix and Lightbox limited series ‘Sophie: A Murder in West Cork; Kevin Macdonald directed film ‘The Day That Changed Britain’; HBO Max film ‘Persona’; and ’Nims' exec produced by the makers of Oscar winning film Free Solo.