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2023 Screen Music Awards winners announced

Media Published Thursday 9 November 2023
Screen Music winners Damien Lane, Jodi Phillis, Amanda Brown & Benjamin Speed.

Michael Yezerski, Amanda Brown, Benjamin Speed, Nigel Westlake, Joff Bush, Jodi Phillis and Damien Lane among winners!

APRA AMCOS and the AGSC (Australian Guild of Screen Composers) are thrilled to announce the winners’ honour roll for the 2023 Screen Music Awards – the annual event that celebrates excellence in composition across the small and large screen.

Multi-award-winning screen composer Michael Yezerski has scored a double victory for his work on the magical Netflix series based on the popular books about Ivy + Bean which has taken out Best Television Theme and the Best Music for Children’s Programming category.

Maverick screen composer and music producer Benjamin Speed has been awarded the Feature Film Score of the Year for The Portable Door starring Christoph Waltz and Sam Neill. He spent his musically formative years as Mister Speed, MC, and songwriter in The New Pollutants before turning to screen composition. His score for the science fiction thriller Monolith has just hit Australian movie theatres.

Multi-instrumentalist screen composer Amanda Brown has won Best Music for a Television Series or Serial for her pitch-perfect work on Deadloch. The quirky, dark whodunnit, created by Kate McCartney and Kate McLennan, also features Alice Chance’s inspired choral arrangement of Divinyls classic I Touch Myself.

Revered composer and conductor Nigel Westlake has received the award for Best Soundtrack Album for Blueback. Based on the best-selling novel by Tim Winton, with the feature film directed by Robert Connolly, Nigel teamed up with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to create an evocative orchestral score that captures the vastness and mystery of the ocean.

The Best Music for a Mini-Series or Telemovie goes to composer Mark Bradshaw. Mark receives his first ever Screen Music Award for his work on the 8-part psychological thriller series The Clearing. Screening on Disney+/Hulu the series is based on the best-selling crime thriller by J.P. Pomare, inspired by the darkness of real-life cults in Australia and around the world.

The creative collaboration between Damien Lane & Jodi Phillis has seen them win Best Original Song Composed for the Screen for Rollercoaster from Soundtrack to Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse. The series follows the story of four music-obsessed teens on a mission to win the triple j Unearthed High competition, who find themselves trapped in an abandoned building during a zombie apocalypse.

The ethereal film score for Flyways - which follows endangered migratory shorebirds as they travel their ancient migration routes around the planet - has earned composer Cezary Skubiszewski a Screen Music Award for Best Music for a Documentary. It is the third time Cezary has won the Documentary category and his tenth Screen Music Award overall.

First-time Screen Music nominee James Mountain has received the award for Best Music for a Short Film for Mud Crab. Set in an Australian coastal town, a woman reflects on her past and the effects she may have had on a local boy she used to know.

Self-taught musician, composer, producer, and DJ Lance Gurisik took out Best Music for an Advertisement for the second year in a row, this time for his work on the Samsung Galaxy Earbuds campaign.

In the Most Performed Categories, musical collaborators Adam Gock & Dinesh Wicks are the Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia for the 10th time for works including MasterChef, Anh’s Brush with Fame, and Beauty and the Geek Australia.

Breaking a 15-year winning streak by composer Neil Sutherland is Joff Bush who is named Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas for Bluey!

Host Susie Youssef was joined at the Forum podium by co-presenters David Wenham AM and Remy Hii. David is known for his roles in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy, Van Helsing, Top of the Lake, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and played Hank Snow in Elvis. David next teams up with Asher Keddie for the drama series Fake coming to Paramount+ in 2024. Remy is a professional actor who has just completed production on the feature film Princess Switch 3 opposite Vanessa Hudgens for Netflix and most recently appeared in in the ABC series Aftertaste. He will next be seen in Del Kathryn Barton’s debut feature Blaze.

New Musical Director, Erkki Veltheim led the Screen Music Awards Orchestra to perform the four Feature Film Score of the Year nominated pieces. The orchestra also paid tribute to celebrate 25 years since Burkhard Dallwitz composed his stirring, Golden Globe-winning score for the Peter Weir feature film classic The Truman Show.

It has been 50 years since television comedy program, Basically Black first aired, becoming the first Australian TV show performed by an all-Indigenous cast and led by Blak writers. This ground-breaking program tackled serious issues, like racism and white paternalism, through humour. Erkki and the Orchestra presented a sample from the show’s score with special guest performers Ursula Yovich and Kutcha Edwards.

Closing out the evening was singer-songwriter and actor Mina-Siale who performed Rollercoaster, the winner of Best Original Song Composed for the Screen (by Damien Lane and Jodie Phillis). Mina-Siale performed the show's theme song as part of her role on Soundtrack to Our Teenage Zombie Apocalypse.