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Sundance 2017: Celebration And Dedication To Female Composers On Hand At AWFC Brunch

AWFC president Laura Karpman addresses the crowd at the AWFC Sundance brunch.

By: Marjorie Galas

There was a lot to celebrate at the Alliance for Women Film Composers annual Sundance brunch, held Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.   The power of over 4,000 people uniting the Sundance community during the Women’s March for Equality along Main Street three days prior was still palpable.  Nine of the org’s members: Annie Clark, Carly Paradis, Heather Christian, Hildur Buonadottir, Laura Karpman, Leah Curtis, Lucius, Mica Levi and Nadja Ruderbusch scored films premiering at the festival.  And, earlier that morning during the 2017 Oscar nominations, Mica Levi received a nomination for her score to “Jackie.”  It is the first time in over twenty years a female composer has receive an Oscar nomination.

Co-founder and composer Lolita Ritmanis welcomed the supporters who crammed the banquet room at Park City’s Café Terigo. She kicked off the event by recognizing each woman who’d scored a selection in the festival before begin joined by president Laura Karpman, an Emmy winning composer who was making her first premiere Sundance visit.

“It’s the first time I’ve scored a film that has made it to the festival, and I’m loving it,” said Karpman.

Karpman welcomed the men, many of them notable music producers and composers, attending the breakfast and asked them to rise. She then asked each man to make a commitment to supporting female composers by including them on committee boards and review sessions.  Emmy-winning composers Jeff Beal and Bear McCreary were amongst the men who made a solemn oath to this commitment.

The support of top composers in the industry like Beal and McCreary will aid in promoting the mission statement of the Alliance for Women Film Composers: through advocacy, support and education, the Alliance for Women Film Composers aims to increase the visibility of women composers active in media scoring. The AFWC advocates for the inclusion of women composers within industry events; supports filmmakers, game developers and studios in their inclusion of women composers; and educates, mentors and inspires emerging women composers. Ritmanis notes only 3% of 2016’s the top grossing films were scored by female composers, and the alliance is determined to see this percentage increase. Since the org’s birth in 2015, it has published a directory of thousands of working female composers that includes credits and contact information for each listee. They presented a concert in Downtown Los Angeles this past summer featuring selections from many AWFC members and have offered educational panels at global film festivals, including Krakow Film Music Festival, Comic Con International, Game Developers Conference, Soundtrack Cologne, the California Copyright Conference and Cannes 2016. Ritmanis notes the organization is currently in discussions with the Golden State Pop Orchestra as well as many other musical groups and colleges to introduce new programs that will be announced in the near future.

Ritmanis also noted that, while membership is currently dedicated to female composers, the organization will soon instate an affiliate membership. This level of membership will allow non-composers to support the organization and attend events and educational opportunities presented by the AWFC.

To learn more about the Alliance for Women Film Composers, please visit:

There was a lot to celebrate at the Alliance for Women Film Composers annual Sundance brunch, held Tuesday, January 24th, 2017.   The power of over 4,000 people uniting the Sundance community during the Women’s March for Equality along Main Street three days prior was still palpable.  Nine of the org’s members: Annie Clark, Carly Paradis, Heather Christian, Hildur Buonadottir, Laura Karpman, Leah Curtis, Lucius, Mica Levi and Nadja Ruderbusch scored films premiering at the festival.  And, earlier that morning during the 2017 Oscar nominations, Mica Levi received a nomination for her score to “Jackie.”  It is the first time in over twenty years a female composer has receive an Oscar nomination.

Co-founder and composer Lolita Ritmanis welcomed the supporters who crammed the banquet room at Park City’s Café Terigo. She kicked off the event by recognizing each woman who’d scored a selection in the festival before begin joined by president Laura Karpman, an Emmy winning composer who was making her first premiere Sundance visit.

“It’s the first time I’ve scored a film that has made it to the festival, and I’m loving it,” said Karpman.

Karpman welcomed the men, many of them notable music producers and composers, attending the breakfast and asked them to rise. She then asked each man to make a commitment to supporting female composers by including them on committee boards and review sessions.  Emmy-winning composers Jeff Beal and Bear McCreary were amongst the men who made a solemn oath to this commitment.

The support of top composers in the industry like Beal and McCreary will aid in promoting the mission statement of the Alliance for Women Film Composers: through advocacy, support and education, the Alliance for Women Film Composers aims to increase the visibility of women composers active in media scoring. The AFWC advocates for the inclusion of women composers within industry events; supports filmmakers, game developers and studios in their inclusion of women composers; and educates, mentors and inspires emerging women composers. Ritmanis notes only 3% of 2016’s the top grossing films were scored by female composers, and the alliance is determined to see this percentage increase. Since the org’s birth in 2015, it has published a directory of thousands of working female composers that includes credits and contact information for each listee. They presented a concert in Downtown Los Angeles this past summer featuring selections from many AWFC members and have offered educational panels at global film festivals, including Krakow Film Music Festival, Comic Con International, Game Developers Conference, Soundtrack Cologne, the California Copyright Conference and Cannes 2016. Ritmanis notes the organization is currently in discussions with the Golden State Pop Orchestra as well as many other musical groups and colleges to introduce new programs that will be announced in the near future.

Ritmanis also noted that, while membership is currently dedicated to female composers, the organization will soon instate an affiliate membership. This level of membership will allow non-composers to support the organization and attend events and educational opportunities presented by the AWFC.

To learn more about the Alliance for Women Film Composers, please visit:

The AWFC