Envision Sound Call

As the British Council Ukraine’s Envision Sound programme for composers who want to explore scoring for moving image enters its fourth year, we’ve had to adjust our working to reflect the current situation the pandemic has presented us with.

We are offering three grants of £1,500 each to emerging UK composers to create a new original score to a piece of film supplied by our Envision Sound partners in Ukraine, so we can continue to create stronger links between Ukraine and the UK during the challenges posed by the pandemic.

A grant of £1,500 will be awarded to each successful applicant to realise a new original score. In addition to the grant, each applicant will receive mentoring time with one of our Envision Sound UK tutor alumni and consultation time with the director of the film they are composing music for. 

The choices of source film material that will be available are:

  1. A short animation (post-production edit), courtesy of the Linoleum International Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival
  2. A short documentary (post-production edit), courtesy of the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival
  3. A short archive film, courtesy of the National Oleksandr Dovzhenko Centre (Dovzhenko Centre)

In the case of archive film, a film archive expert from Dovzhenko Centre will be available to guide and advise around film context.

REQUIREMENTS 

We welcome applications from emerging UK-based composers and musicians with diverse experiences and backgrounds in different musical styles to our programme. Above all we are looking to hear from those with a desire to write music for film and moving image. 

HOW TO APPLY

Fill out the application form in English and submit it by 6 pm GMT 21 November 2020. 

Applicants who may have additional accessibility needs and would prefer to submit their application in another format should get in touch in advance. We will endeavour to do everything we can to accommodate any needs.

Grant

The total £1,500 value of the grant is to cover all costs incurred during the creation of the piece. This could include: hiring the services of musicians; fees for recording spaces; travel costs to specific sites.

The grant cannot be used for any costs relating to the purchase of equipment including software.

Key dates

21 October – 21 November 2020 – open call for composers and filmmakers

14 December – 18 December 2020 – announcement of the results on the website and social media of the British Council and respective partners

21 December – 12 March 2021 – music composing, mentoring sessions

26 March – 4 April 2021 – presentation of the winning documentary project at the Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival

1-5 September 2021 – presentation of the winning animation project at the Linoleum International Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival

Date tbc – presentation of the winning archive film project at the Mute Nights Festival/Kolo Dzygy 2021

 

Assessment

Evaluation of applications will be assessed by a British Council Music Team representative, the project composer mentors and representatives of Docudays UA Festival, Dovzhenko Centre, and Linoleum Contemporary Animation and Media Art Festival. 

The panel will consider the overall curation of commissions to ensure a diverse selection of applicants are supported. This will include achieving a geographical spread across the UK and the individuals and music genres represented. Weighting may be applied to achieve an overall balance across the successful applications. 

Successful applicants to the animation and documentary film categories will be paired with the filmmakers who are contributing their works to the project.

For archive film, the successful applicant will have the opportunity to choose their film from a list provided by the Dovzhenko Centre, the Ukrainian Film Archive with own Film lab which collects over 5,000 titles of Ukrainian and foreign films. Additionally, they will be offered cooperation with Dovzhenko Centre in the framework of one of their projects: the Festival of Silent Films and Contemporary Music ‘Mute Nights’ or ‘Kolo Dzygy’ series of audiovisual performances.

It is our aim that each film complete with new soundtrack will be screened at the respective festival’s editions in 2021.We will support a total of three projects, one from each of the categories described above.

Profiles of the UK mentors

Enrica Sciandrone 

Enrica Sciandrone is an award-winning composer originally from Italy and now resident in London. She has been active in the film music industry since 2009, working on mainstream projects such as Warner’s Wrath of The Titans, Sony’s Life and Mowgli collaborating with established composers such as Javier Navarrete (Pan’s Labyrinth), Nitin Sawney, Jon Ekstrand as well as with orchestrator Nicholas Dodd. She has composed soundtracks worldwide for several feature films, documentaries, animations and TV commercials, together with production music (EMI). Her music, orchestrations and arrangements have been broadcasted on BBC Radio 3, Radio Rai 3 (Italy), BBC, Amazon Prime Video, Channel 5 and ITV. 

She is professor in composition for screen at the Royal College of Music in London. 

Nainita Desai 

Working at the forefront of a new wave of emerging artists, RTS and BIFA nominated composer Nainita is a BAFTA Breakthrough Brit, Ivor Novello 2020 nominee and is the International Film Music Critics Association Breakthrough Composer of 2020. She has scored countless BAFTA, Oscar, Emmy acclaimed productions. The PRS placed Desai at No 2 in their Top 10 female writers whose work was most used in Film & TV through 2018. Nainita’s most recent feature releases include OSCAR 2020 nominated and BAFTA, Cannes, BIFA, SXSW winning feature doc For Sama which was also nominated for Best Music at the BIFAs 2019. Other recent projects include Untamed Romania, the most successful Romanian non-fiction film of 2018, WW2 period drama Enemy Within, psychological horror Darkness Visible [BFI], and Interactive game / video game Telling Lies one of the top critically acclaimed releases of 2019 by Annapurna Interactive including Scala Radio’s Top 5 Video Game Scores of the Year and Music+Sound Award winning Title track.

Neil Brand 

Neil Brand has been a silent film accompanist for over 30 years, regularly in London at the Barbican and BFI National Film Theatres, throughout the UK and at film festivals and special events around the world.

Training originally as an actor, he has made his name as a writer/performer/composer, scoring BFI video releases of such films as South (Shackleton's Journey to the South Pole), The Ring by Alfred Hitchcock, Piccadilly (premiered at the Lincoln Centre) the great lost film The Life and Times of David Lloyd George and Early Cinema. 

Neil is becoming well-known as a TV presenter on BBC4 with his hugely successful series Sound of Cinema, The Music that Made the Movies and Sound of Song, is a regular presenter on Radio 4's Film Programme, a Fellow of Aberystwyth University and a Visiting Professor of the Royal College of Music and is considered one of the finest improvising piano accompanists in the world.

Background

Envision Sound is an international educational programme for composers from Turkey, Ukraine, Israel and other countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia who want to further develop their skills working with film and moving image. This unique programme of practical skills development, mentoring and networking for professionals of the film and music industries was designed by the British Council in partnership with the Oleksandr Dovzhenko National Centre in Ukraine. During three cycles of the programme in 2017-2020, 33 film composers became Envision Sound graduates. Almost half of them were commissioned to create new scores to contemporary and archive Ukrainian films. You can find more about the programme here.

FAQ

Q: I am under 18, can I apply?

A: Unfortunately only those aged 18 or over can apply.

Q: I represent an artist as an organisation or their manager – can I apply on their behalf?

A: You can, but the opportunity is intended to fully benefit the artist and this will need to be demonstrated in your application.

Q: If I am successful in my application can I choose a different piece of film to the selection available?

A: Unfortunately this won’t be possible.

Q: If I am unsuccessful in my application will you be able to provide feedback?

A: We expect a large number of responses and unfortunately will not be able provide feedback.

Q: How long will compositions need to be?

A: We cannot confirm exact film length but would envisage something in the region of 10 to 20 minutes.