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Only 3 Women Composers Among 112 Original Scores in 2016 Oscar Race

Only 3 Women Composers Among 112 Original Scores in 2016 Oscar Race

Of the 112 original scores eligible for an Oscar this award season, only three, or 2.7%, were composed or co-composed by women. 

Those three female composers are Miriam Cutler for the campus-rape doc “The Hunting Ground,” Britta Phillips (who collaborated with Dean Wareham) for the Greta Gerwig comedy “Mistress America” and Heather McIntosh for the post-apocalyptic drama “Z for Zachariah.” 

In 1996, Rachel Portman (“Belle”) became the first female composer to win an Academy Award for her original score. She won in in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Score for “Emma.” (The Original Score category no longer differentiates between film genres.) 

Women comprised only 1% of all composers working on the top 250 films of 2014

“There are many, many talented women composers working at every level of media,” Laura Karpman, Academy member and founder and president of the Alliance of Women Composers told Women and Hollywood. “We, however, are clearly not booking the tentpole, high-visibility projects, or we are booking lower-paying gigs that don’t allow us to engage a very useful publicity machine that aids in awareness. We at the Alliance of Women Film Composers are trying to get information out to our members on how to be included on these lists.”

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