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Update from the Australian Guild of Screen Composers

Story Published Wednesday 14 February 2024

The Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) summarises changes in the screen industry, the new AGSC Board, the Credit Maker program and the AACTA Awards

This year will mark a big change in the screen industry with the government set to implement regulation on streaming services from the 1 July 2024. The Australian Guild of Screen Composers (AGSC) has been working closely with APRA AMCOS and colleagues in other Guilds to get the best result for the industry. This includes pushing for composers to be named in any new Australian test and ensuring composers can retain copyright in their work. Screen composer Antony Partos, Executive Director Kingston Anderson, APRA AMCOS Chief Executive Dean Ormston and Executive Director, Public Affairs Nicholas Pickard have met with the Minister for the Arts, Tony Burke and the Department to push for screen composers rights in any new regulation.

The new AGSC Board, elected late last year includes the first board member from Western Australia - Josh Hogan of Envelope Audio and broadcaster and academic Dan Golding who will head up the newly formed games committee. The rest of the board are Dale Cornelius (President), Fiona Donovan (Vice President), Antony Partos, Bronte Horder, Natalie Jeffreys, Amara Primero, Kingston Anderson (Secretary) and Stuart Smith (Treasurer).

The Credit Maker program has been a huge success with all four Screen Australia funded placements now complete. Four female composers have completed their program. They were Petra Salsjo (Love Me Season 2), Rose Mackenzie-Peterson (Wolf Like Me Season 2), Mirasia (Swift Street) and Luna Pan. The AGSC is hoping to continue this program into the future and will be urging Screen Australia to support female screen class composers again. At this point only 12-15% of screen composers are women, and the AGSC will continue to push for a more equitable industry.

The end of 2023 saw a number of AGSC members winning awards and being nominated for their work on screen. The Johnny Dennis Awards are managed by the AGSC awarded four composers $5,000 each for their ongoing development. The composers were Ailsa Mitchell, Sid Acharya, Jessica Wells and Thomas Balshaw. The awards are given out every two years made possible by a bequest from the late Johnny Dennis.

The AACTA Awards took place on Saturday 10 February with a number of AGSC and APRA AMCOS members celebrated for awards across film and television.  Amanda Brown took home the award for Best Original Score in Television for Deadloch; Cornel Wilczek won the Best Original Score in Film award for Talk to Me; and Caitlin Yeo and Damien Lane won the Best Original Score in a Documentary award for The Dark Emu Story (2023). An additional three APRA AMCOS members also took home accolades. Congratulations to all winners and nominees!