Film Music Seminar

Each year Film Fest Gent organises a Film Music Seminar in collaboration with the University College Gent, School of Arts and curated by dr. Martine Huvenne. Year after year, important film music professionals teach participants about film music or sound design.

This year's Film Music Seminar took place on Tuesday 18 October 2016 from 09:30 to 16:30 at Kinepolis Ghent with a focus on TV scoring, the creative collaboration and communication between film maker and composer and different approaches for audiovisual productions. 

Honorary guests include Japanese composer and musician Ryuichi Sakamoto (‘Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence’, ‘The Last Emperor’, ‘The Revenant’, 'Wild Palms'), American composers Jeff Beal (‘House of Cards’, 'Carnivale', 'Rome') and Jeff Russo (‘Fargo’, 'The Night Of', 'The Returned') and Danish composer Karsten Fundal (‘Flame and Citron’, ‘The Art of Crying’, ‘Shadow World’) and director Johan Grimonprez ('Shadow World'). 

As audiences around the world become more and more addicted to television series, academics are introducing new terms, such as “tele-cinephilia”. Some of these academics assert that the line between film and complex TV dramas is becoming thinner than ever.

What does this mean for film music? Is it a TV music composer’s job to stir up the public’s emotions, to enable them to remain glued to the screen or to unify the different episodes of a series to form a whole? In what way does this task differ from a classic film composer’s métier?
And what about documentary film? Is it still the task of the music to direct the attention or emotion of its audience?

These are the questions and topics the Film Music Seminar will focus on.

The Speakers

Martine Huvenne - curator and moderator
Dr. Martine Huvenne is researcher and lecturer sound and music for film at the Faculty of Audiovisual Arts of  the School of Arts Gent, University College Ghent and LUCA School of Arts. She promoted in 2012 with a PhD on “Sound as Inner Movement in the Transfer of Experience in film: a Phenomenological Approach” at the University of Amsterdam. Her research and teaching is focused on the auditory part in the creative part of filmmaking.
Martine Huvenne is curator and co-organizer of the Ghent Film Fest’s annual seminar on music and sound design in film. She also coordinates EPAS, the European Postgraduate in Arts in Sound (

Ryuichi Sakamoto 
Japanese musician, composer, record producer, pianist, activist, writer, actor and dancer. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence marked Sakamoto’s debut as a film score composer and actor. Most successful was his score for The Last Emperor, after which he composed for The Sheltering Sky, Little Buddha, and The Revenant. During his career Sakamoto has won an Academy Award, BAFTA, Grammy, and two Golden Globe Awards, and has received three BAFTA and four Golden Globe nominations. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from France's Ministry of Culture for his musical contributions. On occasion, Sakamoto also worked on anime and video games as a composer and scenario writer.

Jeff Beal
American composer for film, media, and the concert hall. With musical beginnings as a jazz trumpeter and recording artist, his works are infused with an understanding of rhythm and spontaneity. Beal’s eclectic music has been singled out with critical acclaim and recognition. His score and theme for Netflix drama House of Cards has received four prime time Emmy Award nominations and one statue. In total, Beal has received fifteen prime time Emmy nominations and won four statues. Other scores of note include his dramatic music for HBO’s acclaimed series Carnivale and Rome, as well as his comedic score and theme for the detective series Monk. Beal composes, orchestrates, conducts, records and mixes his own scores, which gives his music a very personal, distinctive touch.

Jeff Russo
Two-time Grammy and Emmy-nominated musician Jeff Russo has become a prominent composer, songwriter and arranger in the film and television industry. In addition to composing for film and television, Russo still plays music with his two-time Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling rock band Tonic, of which he is a founding member, lead guitarist and co-songwriter. Russo composed the score for Spike’s television mini-series drama, ‘Tut’ and co-wrote the original score for ‘The Returned’, teaming with Zoë Keating. Russo recently received an Emmy nomination for his music on FX’s hit series ‘Fargo’. In addition to scoring film and television, Russo has composed music for the New York Ballet Company Cedarlake Ensemble.

Karsten Fundal
Over the years, composer Karsten Fundal has had the pleasure of seeing a rapidly increasing interest in his music, which also evoked a response in the film world. Fundal composed i.a. for the epic film 'Flammen & Citronen' (‘Flame and Citron’), an impressive and wide-ranging score for the most expensive film ever produced in Denmark. Fundal has been awarded the Wilhelm Hansen Composer’s Prize, the Prize of the Danish Composers’ Society, the Hvass Foundation’s Artist’s Grant, the Queen Ingrid Memorial Grant, the Carl Nielsen Prize and received a three-year grant of the Danish National Arts. For the music for 'Kunsten At Græde i Kor' (‘The Art of Crying’) Fundal won a Robert for best score and has thus won a place as one of the most important film composers in Denmark. 
Recently, Fundal completed the scores for Johan Grimonprez's documentary 'Shadow World' and will be attending the Belgian premiere at Film Fest Gent on 19 October 2016.

Johan Grimonprez
Grimonprez’s critically acclaimed work dances on the borders of practice and theory, art and cinema, documentary and fiction, demanding a double take on the part of the viewer. Informed by an archeology of present-day media, his work seeks out the tension between the intimate and the bigger picture of globalization. It questions our contemporary sublime, one framed by a fear industry that has infected political and social dialogue. By suggesting new narratives through which to tell a story, his work emphasizes a multiplicity of histories and realties. 'Shadow World' was awarded a production grant from the Sundance Institute and premiered at the Tribeca International Filmfestival in New York. It went on to win the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

Prepare yourself for this seminar by listening to our 2016 WSA Concert Spotify playlist!  


Past events:

  • 2016: Music for Film / TV / Documentary with Jeff Beal, Jeff Russo, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Johan Grimonprez & Karsten Fundal
  • 2015: British Film Music: George Fenton, Craig Armstrong, Daniel Pemberton
  • 2014: French Film Music: Thierry Jousse & Bruno Coulais
  • 2013: Music for Films: team work? with Dirk Brossé, Rachel Portman & Dario Marianelli
  • 2012: Sound Design with Michel Schöpping
  • 2011: Sound Design and Editing with Walter Murch
  • 2010: Collaboration between composer & filmmaker: Stephen Warbeck
  • 2009: Composing for Asian Cinema with Shigeru Umebayashi
  • 2008: An audiovisual symbiosis: Gabriel Yared & Anthony Minghella
  • 2007: Relation between film music & sound: Mychael Danna, Steve Munro & Annabelle Pangborn
  • 2006: Film Music & Emotion? Willem Thijssen, Simon Lenski, Frank Duchêne, Johan Hoogewijs, Tom Kestens & Geoffrey Enthoven 
  • 2005: Music or no music? Larry Sider, Mart Van den Burken, Eavesdropper, Michael Weilacher, Silvia Defrance, Hans Spilaert, Frodo Kuipers