SoundTrack_Cologne 15 awards European Talent Award, Peer Raben Music Award, SEE THE SOUND Award for Best Music Documentary and Lifetime Achievement Award

The juries of SoundTrack_Cologne 15 have made their decisions. Ben Winkler won the WDR Film Score AwardAnna Krstajic received an Honorable Mention and Susanne Hardt a Special Mention. Celia Artacho Ruiz was awarded with the Prize for the best sound design. Mateja Stari? won the Peer Raben Music Award with The Box. The SEE THE SOUND Award for Best Music Documentary went to Silvana by Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring and Christina Tsiobanelis.

During the award ceremony composer Craig Armstrong (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!, The Great Gatsby) received the Lifetime Achievement Award of SoundTrack_Cologne.

As composer Nils Wülker states in his laudation:
“Craig Armstrong is a brilliant composer, a master of both musical complexity and plain but never simple melody. His music is both timeless and contemporary, emotional and atmospheric, his compositions for cinema serve the film perfectly, yet are a piece of art in itself. And Craig is a joy to work with.”

The winner of the European Talent Competition is Ben Winkler, Ana Krstajic received an Honorable Mention. Celia Artacho Ruiz was awarded with the Prize for the best sound design. Susanne Hardt received a Special Mention.

Since its very beginning the European Talent Award is a central event of SoundTrack_Cologne. The work of all competition participants, who created a new world of music and sound for a muted short film, show how differently a soundtrack can tell a film.

The members of the jury were Torben Seemann, Sound Supervisor, Mixer and CEO of Chaussee SoundVision, composers Joseph Trapanese and Mathieu Lavoie, and director Olga Chajdas.

The WDR Filmscore Award goes to Ben Winkler. He wins a one-day recording session of one of his own compositions with the WDR Funkhausorchester.

The prize for the best sound design goes to Celia Artacho Ruiz. She wins a 5.1 cinematic mix down in the prestigious sound mixing studio Chaussee Soundvision in Germany.

The jury statement for their collaboration:

“Their straightforward and collaborative approach to the film’s narrative had humanity, personality, originality and memorability. They made us laugh, particularly through the creative use of silence, contrast, and intelligently exploited use of the voice.”

An Honorable Mention goes to Anna Krstajic.

The jury statement:

“For her creative orchestration, balanced approach to scoring, including courage in the use of musical simplicity.”

Susanne Hardt received a Special Mention for her exceptional sound concept.


The Peer Raben Music Award goes to Mateja Stari? for her music for the film The Box, directed by Dusan Kastelic.

The members of the jury were composer FX Dupas, film producer Mike Beilfuß and director Lika Alexeeva.

“The winning score convinced the jury by an exceptionally close relationship between

music and image. The composition does not go the easy way but takes the risk of processing noises and instrumental sources into an original soundscape. Many different styles and techniques are interwoven in a fluent and highly functional way. The sonic universe imagined and masterfully designed by the composer completely brings the visuals to life.”

The award for the best music in a short film is endowed with 1.500 Euro and remembers composer and SoundTrack_Cologne Honorary Award Winner Peer Raben (1940-2007) who was best known for his work for the films of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.


The SEE THE SOUND Award for Best Music Documentary 2018 goes to Silvana by Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring and Christina Tsiobanelis. The film shows the raise of a lesbian Hip-Hop artist with Muslim roots to a celebrated queer icon in Sweden.

The jury consisted of film producer Melanie Andernach, music journalist and author Thomas Venker and director and author Mirjam Leuze. The prize is endowed with 2.500 Euro.

To quote the jury:

Silvana is a documentary with rough edges and flaws. The film is characterized by its wild narrative form, as it does not follow a classical dramaturgy. Instead it rather concentrates on emotions – and by that develops a radiant power.

The three directors Mika Gustafson, Olivia Kastebring and Christina Tsiobanelis succeed in getting extremely close to their main character Silvana Imam – and that’s exactly why Silvana gets right under the skin.

The audience is likewise both, witness of an artistic coming of age story and of a tragically beautiful love story. Silvana combines thrilling concert sequences with more calm and reflecting dialogues and by that makes us feel the potential of Silvana Imam’s personality and music to transform society. The film manages to show the unbelievable huge talent of Silvana Imam and her ability to transmit her own empowerment to her fans and a wider audience.”

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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