Thursday, December 11, 2008
If you have not heard of AUSTIN WINTORY, you better keep an ear open. He has recently won the “Best New Film Composer” award at the first annual Hollywood Music Awards. Also his recent project, CAPTAIN ABU RAED won the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic. If you need some convincing of his talents, just check out his official site where there are a few pieces from his award winning effort (plus a whole lot more.) Below is the official press release:
“Best New Film Composer”
Austin Wintory scores Captain Abu Raed
Winner of the Sundance World Cinema Audience Award: Dramatic
Los Angeles, CA – Film composer Austin Wintory scores the award-winning feature film, Captain Abu Raed, from director Amin Matalqa. The film, Jordan’s first-ever entry in the Academy Awards’ foreign language film category, premiered in the U.S. at the Sundance Film Festival, where it received the World Cinema Audience Award. In addition, it earned Wintory the title of “Best New Film Composer” at the first annual Hollywood Music Awards. In describing the score, Wintory said, “It's meant to feel like a fable that could be told by any culture on earth, and so the orchestra seemed the best route to accomplish that.”
For Captain Abu Raed, Austin Wintory wanted the score to have a universal appeal. He achieved that by balancing traditional Arabic instruments, such as kanun and tablas, with a rich orchestral palette and Western instruments like sleigh bells and castanets. He recorded with the Hollywood Studio Symphony and world-renowned vocalist Lisbeth Scott (Passion of the Christ, The Chronicles of Narnia). In addition to earning the “Best New Film Composer” award, Wintory’s score has been recognized as an Oscar contender by the Los Angeles Times.
Austin Wintory’s love of film scores began at the age of ten in Denver, Colo., when he first listened to Jerry Goldsmith’s classic scores for Patton and A Patch of Blue. In high school, he taught himself to compose, orchestrate and conduct, before studying at both New York University and the University of Southern California. Wintory, at the young age of 26, has received accolades for his scores to feature films, short films and videogames, including fl0w, for which he received a BAFTA nomination. He has several upcoming film projects, including the comedy Knuckle Dragger, holiday film Make the Yuletide Gay and dark drama The Sunset Sky.
Captain Abu Raed tells the story of a lonely airport janitor (Nadim Sawalha) whose life changes after he finds a discarded captain’s hat at work and wears it home. When the poor neighborhood children assume he is a real pilot, he forms a friendship with them by weaving fictional stories about the world outside of Amman, Jordan, based on books he has read. As he attempts to make a difference in their lives, Abu Raed faces attacks from Murad (Hussein Al-Sous), a young boy who calls him a liar, and develops a relationship with Nour (Rana Sultan), a real female pilot with troubles of her own. Captain Abu Raed is a story of dreams, friendship, forgiveness, and sacrifice.