Selma Mutal

© ledroitperrin

Biography

Born in Lima, Peru, to Dutch parents, Selma Mutal studied composition at the National Conservatory of Amsterdam, Film Scoring at the 'École Normale de Musique' in Paris and piano improvisation with renowned improviser Misha Mengelberg.

Selma Mutal started her career composing for dance, theatre and television and has, since 2003, composed extensively for cinema, with a focus on international coproductions. Her credits include director Claudia Llosa's film The Milk of Sorrow (La Teta Asustada), winner of the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlin International Film Festival and Oscar-nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010.

In 2010, Selma Mutal composed the soundtrack for Undertow (Contracorriente) directed by Javier Fuentes-León, awarded among others with the World Cinema Audience Award for Best Film at the 2011 Sundance Festival and Best Original Soundtrack Award at the Annonay International Film Festival. The collaboration with Fuentes-León continued on a second feature film, The Vanished Elephant, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014.

For filmmaker Tod Lending (Legacy), Selma Mutal scored several films, among them Burden of Silence (2012), the short film Vezo (2013), which received the Sundance Institute/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Award, and All the Difference (2015), a feature-length documentary filmed over five and a half years and inspired by Wes Moore’s New York Times bestselling book, 'The Other Wes'.

In 2013, the Aubagne International Film Festival commissioned Selma Mutal to direct the Master Class on Film Composition culminating in a live performance during the festival's closing ceremony.

Her most recent scores include the music for Ederly, directed by Polish film director Piotr Dumala as well as the soundtrack  for Block’hood - a city building video game by architect and game designer José Sanchez, awarded with the ‘Best Game Play Award’ at the 2016 Games for Change Festival in New York.

Besides writing for film, Selma Mutal composes music for contemporary dance. Her latest projects in the field of dance include In.Quieta Rooms (2017) by the Zurich based Nunzio Impellizzeri Dance Company. A continuation of the collaboration, the new creation Corpo Barocco, will premiere at Tanzhaus Zürich in 2018.

Selma Mutal lives and works in Paris and has been invited as member of the Music Jury at the 2018 edition of the International Script Festival (Festival International des Scénaristes) in Valence, France.


Film

Ederly, 2016
Director: Piotr Dumala
Golden Frog Nomination - International Film Festival Camerimage, Poland 2016
Grand Prix Nomination - New Horizons International Film Festival, Poland 2016

All the Difference, 2016
Director: Tod Lending
TV series documentary

Nadia Comaneci: The Gymnast and the Dictator, 2016
Director: Pola Rapaport
TV documentary

Special Jury Prize: BCN Sports Film Festival in Barcelona 2017

The Vanished Elephant, 2014
Director: Javier Fuentes-León
WP: Toronto International Film Festival 2014
Best Soundtrack Nomination: Platino Awards 2015

Vezo, 2014
Director: Tod Lending
Winner Sundance Institute/ Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Award 2014
Short film

Burden of Silence, 2012
Director: Tod Lending
TV series documentary

Undertow (Contracorriente), 2009/10
Director: Javier Fuentes-León
World Cinema Audience Award, Sundance Film Festival 2010
Best Film Award, San Francisco Festival 2010, Miami Festival 2010, Chicago Festival 2010, Madrid Festival 2010, Cartagena Film Festival 2010
Best Original Music - Annonay International Film Festival 2010

The Milk of Sorrow (La teta asustada), 2009
Director: Claudia Llosa
Golden Bear Winner, Berlin International Film Festival 2009
Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film 2010
Best Feature Film, Bogota Film Festival 2009
Best Feature Film, Gramado Film Festival (Brazil) 2009
Goya Awards Nomination for Best Spanish Language Foreign Film 2010
FIPRESCI Prize, Berlin International Film Festival 2009
Best Film, Montreal Festival of New Cinema 2009
Best Film, Guadalajara International Film Festival 2009

Madeinusa, 2006
Director: Claudia Llosa
Official Selection - Sundance Film Festival 2006
Critics Award, Hamburg Film Festival 2006
Best Feature Film, Mar del Plata Film Festival 2006
FIPRESCI Prize, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2006

Best First Work, Lima Latin American Film Festival 2006

FILMSCORE

EDERLY

Director: Piotr Dumala
Music: Selma Mutal

In the town of Ederly, calendars have no meaning. Summer and winter can follow one another in barely a day. And this fact comes as no surprise to anyone. When a man appears in town, however, claiming that he is there for work as a restorer of sculptures, this causes a bit of a sensation. The residents see in him a local man who disappeared 20 years earlier. Based on certain identifiable features they see, the residents assign a series of identities to him. He instantly becomes someone's son, brother, fiancé, and lover.

FILMSCORE

THE MILK OF SORROW

Director: Claudia Llosa
Music: Selma Mutal

Fausta is ill with a disease contracted from her mother’s breast milk known as “the milk of sorrow”. However, this is not a sickness caused by bacteria or infection: it is a condition that only affects those women in Peru who were abused or raped during the years of terrorist struggle. Although this horrific period is now history, Fausta is nonetheless a living reminder of this time. Her sickness is called fear – and it has robbed her of her soul. But then, when her mother suddenly dies, Fausta is forced to face her fears. The overpowering nature of these fears, and the desperate lengths to which Fausta will go to assuage them is revealed by her biggest secret: in order to bar loathsome intruders from entering her body she has inserted a potato into her vagina as a kind of antibacterial ‘defence shield’. However, her mother’s death unleashes unexpected events that change Fausta’s life dramatically, as well as the lives of others involved. Fausta now sets out on a journey – a journey that will lead her out of her fear and into freedom.

Golden Bear Winner, Berlin International Film Festival 2009
Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film 2010

FILMSCORE

NADIA COMANECI - THE GYMNAST AND THE DICTATOR

Director: Pola Rapaport
Music: Selma Mutal

Barely fourteen years old, Nadia Comaneci dazzled the world when she became the first athlete in her discipline to achieve a perfect 10 at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. Her amazing feat led the Romanian pixie to rise to the rank of universal idol and become a role model for millions of young girls on both sides of the Iron Curtain. The film is told in first person, based on Nadia’s memoirs, and balances the glory and hardship of an idolized star under the dictatorship of Nicolae Ceausescu.

Special Jury Prize: BCN Sports Film Festival in Barcelona 2017

FILMSCORE

THE VANISHED ELEPHANT

Director: Javier Fuentes-Léon
Music: Selma Mutal

Edo Celeste is a renowned crime novelist, who is writing the final book in the series about his alter ego, detective Felipe Aranda. Edo is obsessed with the disappearance of his fiancee Celia, which took place the day of the 2007 earthquake in the southern coast of Peru. Seven years later, an enigmatic woman brings Edo dozens of cryptic photos that may help solve the mystery of Celia's disappearance. Edo senses that he's being tempted into a dangerous game, but believes this is the only way to find his fiancee alive. A labyrinth of clues submerges Edo in a race through the streets of Lima and the deserted beaches of Paracas. His final destination will confront him with the ultimate riddle any writer could face.