Composers Atli Örvarsson, Mark Mothersbaugh, Mark Isham Lead BMI Film/TV Awards

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Composers Atli Örvarsson, Mark Mothersbaugh and Mark Isham led the list of winners announced Monday for the annual BMI Film, TV & Visual Media Awards, with the three scorers picking up six, five and four trophies, respectively.

Örvarsson, the Icelandic composer, is now up to 29 BMI honors with the six he adds this week. His new shelf’s worth of awards came for work on “Chicago P.D.,” “Chicago Med,” “Chicago Fire,” “FBI,” “FBI: Most Wanted” and “Defending Jacob.”

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Mark Mothersbaugh, of Devo as well as scoring fame, was five-times rewarded for “Dirty John,” “What We Do in the Shadows,” “The Willoughbys,” “The Croods: A New Age” and “Tiger King.”

Mark Isham’s four awards came for “Judas and the Black Messiah,” “Honest Thief,” “Little Fires Everywhere” and “Togo.”

“I’m not that much of an awards guy, but even I’m impressed — four BMI awards,” Isham said in a taped acceptance speech. He explained the nature of this year’s quantity as well as quality: “It’s really a testament to how much viewing entertainment we all wanted this year.”

This year’s music Oscar winners figured at the BMIs as well. Atticus Ross followed up all the other awards he shared with Trent Reznor and Jon Batiste for “Soul” with a BMI for the original score for the Pixar film. H.E.R., Tiara Thomas and D’Mile, Oscar winners for best original song for “Fight for You” from “Judas and the Black Messiah,” all won their first BMI Film Award for the song.

This year’s still-virtual ceremony saw the introduction of three new awards: the BMI Streaming Documentary Award, the BMI Film Festival Award and the BMI Streaming Film Award. The performing rights organization pointed out that these new categories allowed for a plethora of first-time winners, including Jongnic Bontemps in the streaming doc category; Casey Wayne McAllister, Gene Back, Nami Melumad, T. Griffin and Woody Pak in the film festival division; and Alex Belcher, Clyde Lawrence, Cody Fitzgerald, David Wingo, Duncan Thum, Jay Weigel and Joe Wong in the streaming film category.

Among the veterans receiving awards for their work were Chris Westlake, Christopher Lennertz, David Buckley, John Williams, Mac Quayle, Sean Callery, Sonya Belousova and Trevor Gureckis. First-time winners included Bobby Krlic, Courtney Taylor-Taylor and Josh Kramon, Genevieve Vincent, Heather Christian, Jabril Ameer Battle, Jucee Froot and Matthew Head, and RZA.

In his acceptance speech for his two awards (for “Tenet” and “Mandalorian”), Ludwig Göransson lamented losing out on the chance to bond with fellow composers in person at a ceremony for the second year in a row, but looked for a silver lining in scorers’ pandemic-era work.

“This year is a little different,” Göransson said. “Normally us composers are used to seeing each other this one day. The other 364 days of the year, we’re basically spending every day and every minute and second breathing in our studios… It’s unfortunate we don’t get to spend this time with each other, but hopefully we’ll get to do that next year. But on the positive side, I think a lot of us have had more time to spend at home and to be with our families and really bond in different ways that we maybe are not used to. And I think you can see that as a blessing, because there are more important things than to get the next cue done sometimes. Hopefully we can all remember this time when we are back into the normal reality and sometimes take a break and go home and spend time with our loved ones.”

A full list of winners and acceptance videos can be found at BMI’s website: https://www.bmi.com/award-shows/film-tv-2021/.

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