Stephanie Hamelin Tomala  for

(special collaboration – We asked Stéphanie to share her experience)

France’s Festival International du Film d’Aubagne 2018, the 19th edition, took place from March 19th to the 24th. The festival’s strong focus on film scoring makes it a strategic platform to reinforce international cooperation, including clear dedication to the promotion of young musical talents in the field of composition for films.

Oscar Winner Gabriel Yared (The English patient), Érik Neveux (Zombillénium) and Stephen Warbeck (Shakespeare in Love) were the best known ‘guests’ film composers of this year’s event. Aubagne International Film Festival puts forward film scoring, encouraging networking between directors, producers and composers, putting together active workshops and live presentations.

I am a young Canadian film composer in a tough but exciting business. Attending Aubagne’s Fest, as a participant, allowed me to meet with producers, directors, fellow composers, forging a burgeoning network within the industry. In Canada, composers are still overlooked in film events. We forget that music is a big part of the essence of film.

As Aubagne is concern, a month prior to the festival, the composers receive a movie script, including the musical intentions of the director. During the festival, the composer meets with the director and producer for about 90 minute and introduces what was written based on their script and notes. During the whole festival, they have networking lunches workshops, masterclasses and an award ceremony.

Every year, a professional composer gives a masterclass. It really is an amazing learning experience for young composers. Furthermore, you can actually come as a spectator and watch the composition process and concert preparation. Stephen Warbeck gave this year’s ten-days masterclass. I was one of nine participants to this great adventure, alongside other emergent composers, with the task to compose 45 minutes of music on selected film excerpts. It was subsequently performed as a cine-concert during the closing ceremonies. A fruitful experience. For you, young aspiring film composers, Aubagne is the place to check in, next year…

Having been abroad to be able to live such an experience, it is my feeling that we are missing a part of the film experience in my home city of Montreal. Consequential events bringing together composers, directors and producers, helping to build bridges between industry players in a specific field where it is interesting to note the increasing number of women ready to work.