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IFTA Awards Focus: Best Original Music
23 Mar 2016 : Seán Brosnan
Nominees this year are Stephen Rennicks (for ‘Room’ and ‘Viva’), Stephen McKeon (‘My Name is Emily’) and Gary Clark and John Carney (‘Sing Street’)
Continuing our coverage of the IFTA Film & Drama Awards (taking place on April 9th), IFTN takes a look at the contenders for the Original Music IFTA at this year’s ceremony.

This year’s nominees include Stephen McKeon (‘My Name is Emily’), Gary Clark and John Carney (‘Sing Street’) and two nominations for Stephen Rennicks (‘Room’ and ‘Viva’).

Stephen McKeon is last year’s winner in this category, landing the award for John Boorman’s ‘Queen and Country’. He is nominated this time for Simon Fitzmaurice’s ‘My Name is Emily’. It has been a busy year for McKeon – he also composed the score for Telegael’s animated film ‘Norm of the North’ – which was a box office success in the US.

Aside from his win last year, McKeon has previously won an IFTA for ‘The Tiger’s Tail’ (also directed by John Boorman) and received nominations for ‘Blind Flight’, ‘The Running Mate’, ‘The Flight Before Christmas’, ‘Savage’ and ‘Thor: Legend of the Magical Hammer’.

Upcoming projects of McKeon’s include Brendan Muldowney’s violent period thriller ‘Pilgrimage’ as well as Paco Torres’ ‘Blue Guitar’.

Nominated for ‘Sing Street’ are Gary Clark and John Carney.

Gary Clark’s credits in film and television to date are impressive, having contributed songs to ‘There's Something about Mary’, ‘Nightwatch’, ‘Jawbreaker’, ‘Wild Things’, ‘Charlie's Angels’, ‘Grey's Anatomy’, ‘666 Park Avenue’, ‘Underbelly’, ‘Teen Wolf’ and ‘Pretty Little Liars’, amongst others; ‘Sing Street’ is the first time Clark has written directly for the screen.

Carney, who is the only person at this year’s ceremony to be up for three IFTA Awards (he is also up for Best Director and Best Script), has been previously responsible for the musical films ‘Once’ and ‘Begin Again’ – which were both successes worldwide; ‘Once’ won the Oscar for Best Original Song (Glen Hansard and Markéta Irglová) in 2008 while ‘Begin Again’ received a nomination in 2015 in the same category (for Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois).

The Irish Times has lauded the music in ‘Sing Street’ writing “The terrific songs by Carney and Gary Clark – which rejoice in the unfashionable influence of Duran Duran allow the characters a fluency and an emotional honesty they can’t manage in everyday conversation” while The Guardian described the music as a “cymbal-crashing crowdpleaser”.

One of the few people nominated for two awards this year (and the only person in the same category), Stephen Rennicks has received nods for his work in Lenny Abrahamson’s ‘Room’ and Paddy Breathnach’s ‘Viva’.

Rennicks has previously been IFTA nominated for all of Lenny Abrahamson’s films – ‘Adam and Paul’, ‘Garage’, ‘What Richard Did’ and ‘Frank’ – with the composer winning a BIFA Award last year for his work on the latter.

Reviews for his work on the Oscar nominated film ‘Room’ have been extremely positive with The Guardian hailing it as a “superbly empathetic” and The Irish Times calling it “melodic and persuasive”. Reviews for ‘Viva’ were just as positive with The Hollywood Reporter stating that the musical selections were “spot on” in the film.

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