Victoria Wijeratne won the Best Composer Award in 2011 for First Bite

Victoria WWhat’s your background?

I currently score original music for feature and short films, as well as having a strong background in songwriting/singing and producing music.

What was the most important lesson you learned in making the film? What was the biggest challenge?

I’ve learnt that communication is key, it’s important to keep that up with every single member of the post-production crew and also the producers, the biggest challenge was to hold a calm & professional attitude at all times amidst restraining budgets and leering deadlines.

What other female composers inspire you? 

Music wise, it was really inspiring to see Mica Levi be nominated for a BAFTA for her score on Under The Skin, I think she did an amazing job and it was really encouraging to see someone get that kind of praise from someone who is near my age.

What was your experience of screening your film in competition at Underwire Festival?

It was really an enriching experience, and amazing to be part of a strong community of female filmmakers.

Did any opportunities arise from being part of Underwire?

For sure, mainly in feature film.

How did the prize you received from our award partner help you in your career?

It help immensely, I think it’s safe to say it started it, ever since receiving the award to work alongside Imagem, I was able to get the opportunity to score a feature film for the 1st time, which was one of the best experiences of my life so far, it showed me my true potential within the music spectrum and ignited my constant passion for film and the process.

How important have festival screenings been for you?

It’s been important for me, because it has showed me the incredible community and network of female filmmakers within London and beyond that which I feel closely to, it’s also taught me the wider issue of lack of females within the film industry, behind and in front of the camera, and how this needs to change.

Do you have any advice for filmmakers currently submitting their films to the festival circuit?

Be open as much as possible to the people you meet, be open about the other work being presented, network.

What advice would you share with other filmmakers?

Try and master the ultimate professional attitude? It’s hard because it depends on what part you are working in film, whether it’s pre or post, you will come across situations and people that will really test you, I would say try and maintain calmness, oh and never be late.

What do you think would benefit female filmmakers trying to make it in the industry?

I would say they would benefit from the current stream of awareness of the lack of females in the industry and a different angle in narratives, I believe it is the new frontier for women so the more women/girls being interested in working in film the better.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently working on original music for a documentary, based on the different cultural languages in Zambia, it’s called The Colours of the Alphabet directed by Alastair Cole.

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