Sponsors and Prizes

Last year, sponsors provided over $10,000 worth of prizes to the finalists, runners-up and winners
of the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest.

Are you interested in supporting emerging composers by sponsoring the Marvin Hamlisch Contest?
Email betsy@cine.org to discuss opportunities.

Previous sponsors of the Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest:

$1500 voucher for 8DIO’s extensive product portfolio of over 150+ products, courtesy of 8DIO

August 2011, 8DIO launched with over 40 deep-sampled products ranging from the most epic choirs- and percussion in the industry to a wide selection of emotional percussion, solo vocals, new hybrid scoring tools etc. 8DIO products are featured in the majority of current blockbusters, TV shows and video games and used by many of the highest profile artists, composers and top 40 producers in the industry.  8Dio is also featured in a host of live performances from Saturday Night Live to Broadway, from Idol to Dancing with the Stars etc.

Digital Performer 9, valued at $795 (US), courtesy of MOTU

Digital Performer represents a complete studio production experience on your computer desktop. Record, edit, mix, process and master polished recordings. Combine external hardware — synths, controllers, mics, instruments, compressors — with virtual instruments, loops, audio tracks and MIDI tracks, all together in a seamless, intuitive production environment. Work musically with features like the Drum Editor and QuickScribe notation, then switch gears for creative production techniques with inspiring plug-ins like DP’s Subkick, Ensemble Chorus, and guitar FX plug-ins. Import loops, launch virtual instruments and 3rd-party plug-ins: Digital Performer is the consummate host. Then polish your recording with Digital Performer’s extensive editing, mixing, processing and mastering tools. No matter how you approach your music and audio production, DP’s highly customizable user interface empowers your personal workflow.

UltraLite AVB Audio Interface, valued at $649 (US), courtesy of MOTU

The latest in MOTU’s popular, award-winning UltraLite interface series, the UltraLite AVB is an 18-input, 18-output audio interface with DSP mixing, wireless control, AVB audio networking and best-in-class analog audio quality for on-the-go mobile audio recording. Connect to a computer through AVB Ethernet or audio class compliant hi-speed USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 and iOS) and record at sample rates up to 192 kHz with two mic inputs, two hi-Z guitar inputs, six line-level analog inputs, eight analog outputs, 8-channel optical I/O (with support for 2-channel TOSLink), MIDI I/O and a headphone output. Powerful DSP delivers large console style mixing with 48 channels, 12 stereo busses, and 32-bit floating point effects processing, including modeled analog EQ, vintage compression and classic reverb. Matrix routing lets you quickly patch ins to outs, or split inputs to multiple destinations. Use the UltraLite AVB as a stand-alone mixer and control everything wirelessly from innovative web app software running on your iPad™, iPhone™, tablet, smart phone, and laptop. Through AVB Ethernet, connect another MOTU AVB interface for more I/O — or connect to an expanded MOTU AVB network with multiple interfaces and computers. From studio to stage, the UltraLite AVB delivers exceptional sound quality, state-of-the-art operation and rock-solid performance. 

Finale, valued at $600 (US), courtesy of MakeMusic

Finale is the world-wide industry standard in music notation software. Anywhere music appears on the printed page, Finale likely created those pages. Finale helps the choir to sing, the band to march, the students to learn, and the orchestra to raise the excitement level in the latest blockbuster movie. Part of what sets Finale apart is its unique ability to create anything on the printed page. Where other software offers paint-by-numbers solutions, Finale offers complete freedom and flexibility. As a result, musicians around the world rely on Finale to create, edit, audition, print, and publish the widest variety of musical scores.

Evolution Banshee, Evolution Steel Strings and Evolution Strawberry, valued at $537 (US), courtesy of Orange Tree Samples

Hailing from the fiery core of the earth comes the hottest virtual 8 string guitar library for metal and rock. Evolution Banshee covers a wide variety of techniques and articulations, whether it’s epic shredding leads or gigantic quadruple-tracked rhythm tracks. The sample library boasts an expansive note range, from piercing shrieks in the highest register to monstrous growls emanating far below a standard 6 string guitar’s capabilities.

Evolution Steel Strings presents a breakthrough in sampled acoustic guitar. No other acoustic guitar sample library or virtual instrument has achieved the same level of realism.

Evolution Strawberry enables keyboardists to easily and quickly create authentic sounding electric guitar parts without the need to hand edit MIDI.

Embertone String Package (featuring Friedlander Violin + Fischer Viola + Blakus Cello), valued at $375 (US), courtesy of Embertone

The Embertone String Package features top samples from Embertone’s libraries, including:

Friedlander Violin: Welcome to violin heaven!!
We set out to create a virtual violin with malleable, intuitive controls, and an authentic, LIVING sound. From the beginning we wanted control over vibrato and dynamics, so we presented Dovid with an insane, almost athletic challenge: to record more than 4000 samples with musical purpose and a beautiful tone, and all WITHOUT VIBRATO! This gives you your own layer of expressivity… a variety of musical parameters at your fingertips so that you can craft and phrase authentic performances.

Fischer Viola:  FISCHER VIOLA is an ultra advanced solo viola for Kontakt Player 5, and a major leap forward in terms of musicality and technology. More than a year in the making, we went deep into the scripting and “under the hood” to make sure that this is a leaner and meaner instrument.

Blakus Cello: We bring to you the EMBERTONE BLAKUS CELLO, a collaboration with the mighty Blake Robinson, Australian composer/cellist extraordanaire. The result is a huuuuge set of samples: expressive sustains, visceral harsh attacks, pizzicatos, tremolos… along with a carefully prepared model for sul ponticello and con sordino with scripted legato. This cello will add an expressive edge to your music – and hopefully, add a bit of joy to your music-making life!

Drum Bundle, valued at $359 (US), courtesy of Soundiron

The Drum Bundle is a collection of all of Soundiron’s premier solo and ensemble drum and auxiliary percussion instrument libraries for the full version of Kontakt. It has 12 volumes, encompassing a broad range of acoustic sounds and integrated performance features. With a total of over 50,000+ samples and 50+ GB of content, you’ll find hundreds of intuitively playable, fully customizable instrument presets.

Included in this bundle: Apocalypse Percussion Ensemble ,Breaker, Clack, Cymbology, Dhol Drum, Drum Corps, Grit Kit, Little Epic Percussion, Riq Drum, Shake, Street Bukit and Tablas.

Automatic Membership to scoreAscore, courtesy of scoreAscore.com

scoreAscore helps musicians and composers discover exciting opportunities in the music-for-picture industry, while providing media-makers an outlet to access top-tier musical talent from around the globe. scoreAscore has worked with a variety of film, television, gaming and corporate clients — and the winner of the Marvin Hamlisch Contest gets to skip the audition process and join the composers working through scoreAscore.

SmartMusic Educator Subscription, valued at $149 (US), courtesy of MakeMusic

SmartMusic is the award winning software used by music educators around the world to enhance their programs and provides a way to dramatically improve their students’ skills. Student practice is focused because they receive immediate feedback while listening to their performance and seeing the correct and incorrect rhythms and pitches onscreen. It also allows the teacher to provide students with the individual instruction and customized feedback needed to get better faster. Students are also able to hear their part in context with SmartMusic’s professional background accompaniment, giving them a pitch and rhythmic reference when practicing at home.


The Marvin Hamlisch Film Scoring Contest is open to youth, student and emerging composers.

There are two categories: YOUTH and EMERGING.

To be eligible for the YOUTH category, a composer must be under 18 years of age.

To be eligible for the EMERGING category, a composer must meet the following criteria:

  1. 18 years of age or older
  2. Must be enrolled in a school program
    Composer may not have earned $10,000 (US) or more in combined fees and professional revenue (including creative, production or package fees or royalties), excluding academic scholarships, in the two years preceding the competition.

Both categories are open to composers from any country.



Registration Opens:
December 5, 2016
Registration Closes:
January 20, 2017
Scores Due:
March 3, 2017
Finalists Announced:
May 16, 2017
Marvin Hamlisch Award Winner Announced:
June 6, 2017


Enter by
January 20, 2017
Youth Category
$25.00 (US) by January 20, 2017
Emerging Category
$40.00 (US) by January 20, 2017

Marvin’s Legacy

Photographed by Len Prince from the exhibition: Remembering Marvin Hamlisch "The People's Composer"

Photographed by Len Prince from the exhibition: Remembering Marvin Hamlisch “The People’s

A prolific and revered composer, Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) won nearly every major award: three Oscars, four Grammys, four Emmys, a Tony, and three Golden Globe awards, as well as a shared Pulitzer Prize for his music for “A Chorus Line” (awarded to the show’s writing and production team). His contributions to the world of film were extraordinary: He created music for more than forty films and received Oscars for his remarkable adaptation of Scott Joplin’s music in “The Sting” and his classic score and song for “The Way We Were.” He created scores for renowned filmmakers Woody Allen, Robert Redford and Steven Soderbergh, and he even wrote a classic James Bond theme (“Nobody Does It Better” from 1977’s “The Spy Who Loved Me”).

CINE was honored to present Marvin Hamlisch with the first-ever CINE Legends Award at the 2012 CINE Awards Gala in Washington, DC, where he dazzled the audience with a medley of his legendary work. Mr. Hamlisch agreed to announce the creation of CINE’s first Film Scoring Contest and serve as a guest judge for the inaugural contest. Sadly, he passed away before the contest’s launch.

With our great thanks to Terre Blair Hamlisch and his estate for their generosity, we are proud to pay tribute to our kind and gifted friend by renaming the contest in his honor.

Find out more about the amazing life and career of Marvin Hamlisch and watch clips of his work at www.marvinhamlisch.us.

How it Works

For over 60 years, CINE has honored student and emerging talent in film and video.  But we know that media is much more — so in 2012, we created a unique, innovative contest to recognize emerging film composers.

The contest is simple: Composers create a new score to a Golden Eagle award-winning short film. Scores are anonymously evaluated, and all composers receive judging comments. The 10 top-ranked scores in each category are named as finalists, and a winner is selected by a distinguished jury of noted film-music professionals.

The winners of the Marvin Hamlisch Award in the Youth and Emerging categories will receive a trophy presented at CINE Celebrates: New York.


Our evaluation system is built on transparency and accountability. Every score is anonymously reviewed by composers whose professional credentials are available to view, along with their feedback, at the conclusion of the process.

Reviewers score each production using our designated criteria, providing notes on the strengths and weaknesses of each score.

Productions with the highest numerical scores in each category are submitted to the distinguished jury, who evaluate using the same criteria. Their scores are used to identify a Marvin Hamlisch Award winner and two runners-up in the category, with jurors given ultimate discretion over the final selections.

CINE is committed to complete transparency in our awards selection process. All submissions are judged anonymously, and no current Marvin Hamlisch Contest contestant is allowed to review in any capacity.

Distinguished Jurors

Our Distinguished Jury is an accomplished group of screen-music professionals who have produced exceptional work. We are grateful to them for sharing their time and expertise, and for their commitment to helping us honor emerging composers.


Mychael Danna
Academy Award-winning composer (Best Original Score, Life of Pi, 2012)

George S. Clinton
Multiple BMI-award-winning composer and Emmy nominee

Daniel Carlin
Emmy Award-winning music editor, supervisor, conductor and Director of Screen Scoring at University of Southern California


Alison Plante
Composer and Chair of Film Scoring at Berklee College of Music

Ronald Sadoff
Composer, music supervisor and Director of Programs in Film Scoring and Songwriting at NYU Steinhardt

Vasco Hexel
Composer, conductor, arranger and area leader in the Composition for Screen program at the Royal College of Music

Review Criteria

Reviewers and jurors evaluate scores using the following criteria, developed in conjunction with our partner film scoring programs. Reviewers and jurors will also briefly comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the score. Composers will receive their comments  at the end of the contest.



This score is effectively orchestrated and realized in a manner that displays musical proficiency.


Technical Proficiency

Understanding the limited resources available, this score is of a high sonic quality and displays proficient use of technology.

Dramatic Connection

This score elevates the film, responds to the visuals, and enhances the emotional elements of the story.



This score is distinctive and demonstrates creativity.

Overall Excellence

This score makes a strong, memorable positive impression.

Past Award Winners

The Marvin Hamlisch Contest was created to honor and champion emerging media composers. Past contestants are creating great music throughout the industry.

The Marvin Hamlisch Award is not just a trophy. CINE creates opportunities for emerging media makers and composers. The winners, runners-up and finalists of the Marvin Hamlisch Contest are invited to CINE Celebrates receptions in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, where they can network with filmmakers and producers throughout the industry. Emerging composers are invited to network with student and rising media makers through the new CINE Connects platform.

We’re grateful to Terre Blair Hamlisch and the team of MarvinHamlisch.us for their support of the contest and emerging composers.

Inaugural Contest Winners (2013)
Seth Tsui and Ken Pierson

2nd Annual Contest Winner (2014)
Paul Devlin

3rd Annual Contest Winner (2015)
Carlos Simon

4th Annual Contest Winners (2016)
Robert Neumair (Emerging Category)
Lawson Madlener (Youth Category)