HITS Daily Double


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Universal Music Group’s Task Force for Meaningful Change, Mercury Studios, Universal Music Publishing Group Classics and Screen, Decca Records and UMG’s Globe are opening the Jonas Gwangwa Music Composition Initiative, which offers career development to Black musicians seeking to become film composers, for applications

Named in honor of late South African musician, composer and Oscar nominee Jonas Gwangwa, the program offers "real-world experience, one-on-one mentorship and networking opportunities." It's open to Black artists and composers with at least three years of experience. Two people each from the U.K. and U.S. will be chosen through an application process and ultimately paired with a filmmaker in the process of making a short film. Winners will compose music for said film and be awarded a grant to support their own future projects. Interested parties can apply here.

“Our goal for this program is to stimulate long-term career opportunities within the film industry for underrepresented musicians, and we thank our partners at Universal Music Group and our Academy members, whose passion, dedication and expertise enable this work," said Academy SVP/Impact and Global Talent Development Kendra Carter.

Gwangwa died in 2021 at the age of 83. He is best known for his score and songwriting work with George Fenton on the 1987 film Cry Freedom, directed by Richard Attenborough and starring Denzel Washington as Steve Biko. Gwangwa and Fenton were Oscar-nominated for Best Original Score and Best Original Song for "Cry Freedom," which Gwangwa performed.