This year, the Recording Musicians Association honored composer (and current president of the Alliance of Women Film Composers) Lolita Ritmanis, both for her own career and for her role in helping to lead the fight for greater recognition of women working in this male-dominated field. I was delighted to be asked to introduce Lolita, whose music (including the Emmy-nominated theme for Justice League and scores for the animated Batman and Superman series) I have long admired. As I said: “Lolita is a brilliant composer; a thoughtful and creative collaborator; a warm and giving human being; an admired colleague in a very difficult business, for either men or women. She is everything a young musician should aspire to be. And in her role as leader of a talented but underutilized segment of our musical community, she is making a difference in people’s lives.”
A year ago, in August 2016, a unique and important concert happened in downtown Los Angeles: A 55-piece orchestra and 30-voice choir performed the music of 20 leading film, TV and game composers — all of whom happened to be female. Sponsored by the Alliance for Women Film Composers to call attention to their underrated but wildly talented membership, it was filmed by Oscar-nominated documentary filmmaker Sara Nesson, who has turned the experience into a 12-minute short. For this piece in Variety, I interviewed Nesson and two of the composers showcased on that concert, Lolita Ritmanis (Young Justice) and Germaine Franco (Coco).
It was a pleasure to moderate a panel at Friday’s ASCAP “I Create Music” Expo at the Loews Hollywood Hotel. The topic was “Women in Film Music” and the panelists included composers Lesley Barber (Manchester by the Sea), Stephanie Economou (The Zookeeper’s Wife), Carly Paradis (Line of Duty) and Pinar Toprak (The Lightkeepers). ASCAP’s Rachel Perkins also introduced Lolita Ritmanis of the Alliance for Women Film Composers and Tracy McKnight of Women in Film, who kicked off the discussion about the expanding profile of female composers for film, TV and games. It was a stimulating hour with these thoughtful, remarkable women and I was honored to be on stage with them.