shnit Realtime Composer Competition winners

The shnit Realtime Composer Competition has announced its winners. The winners are Shaun Crawford, for his Injustice theme; Laura Stevens for her Redemption theme; and Greg Abrahams and Andrew Hoole for their Retribution theme.

The competition saw a sizable response from South African composers, with an expert judging panel filtering entries over two days to arrive at three winning scores. The scores will be performed by the South African Film Orchestra, recorded, mixed and mastered by the Atmosphere Film collective, and each will be given to one of 2015’s Realtime competitors as inspiration for a short film. Three films will be produced over the shnit International Shortfilmfestival weekend, premiering at the festival’s closing night, accompanied by the live orchestra.

The panel, including Pressure Cooker Studios’ James Matthes & Dan Matthee (SAFTA-winning composers of Retribution, Sleeper’s Wake, Vehicle 19), Sound & Motion Studios’ multi-awarded sound engineer Simon Ratcliffe and South African Film Orchestra arranger and conductor Matthijs van Dijk, with input from shnit’s Cape Town manager Alasdair McCulloch, Realtime Competition manager Frankie Stromberg and international coordinator Sean Drummond, were blown away by the talent on show, deliberating on criteria of length, originality, use of orchestra instrumentation and inspiration by theme. To say that the competition was stiff would be an understatement.

The chance to highlight a field often hidden in the filmmaking process was relished by both the festival and the orchestra. Matthes comments, “The competition has been extremely exciting as it has given South African composers a chance to write visually inspiring music and have it recorded by an orchestra, not something many get to do these days. Some real talent has been exposed through this process, and we look forward to recording and performing the winning scores in the weeks to come.”

The three shnit Realtime filmmakers 2015 are Thea Small, Bongani Vincent and Willem Grobler. They will film, edit and complete their respective short films over the duration of the festival weekend, with the films premiering at shnit’s Closing Awards at the Cape Town Club on Sunday, October 11.

shnit comes to Cape Town 7 to 11 October. Thirteen South African films compete for the Made in South Africa Award 2015, with a jury headed up by Sharlto Copley, while 60 films compete for the shnit OPEN International awards and US$100 000 in cash prizes over five categories. As always, shnit’s audience plays a huge part, with local and international audience votes taking place. The festival takes place simultaneously in cities all around the world. A total of 37 South African films are on show this year.

A world leader in the shnit network, the Realtime Composer Competition is a proudly South African initiative. 2015 also sees the launch of the Elements Film Lab, a training and networking ground for filmmakers and a platform of inspiration to take SA short films to the world.

Tickets to the Awards Night and the full festival weekend are available through Webtickets.