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The Canada-born Danna has worked with such directors as Terry Gilliam (The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus), Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), Joel Schumacher (8MM), James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted) and Denzel Washington (Antwone Fisher), but is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Ang Lee, for whom he composed scores for The Ice Storm (1997), Ride With the Devil (1999), Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016) and Life of Pi. The latter won him the Oscar for best original score in 2013.
Other notable works from the ever-prolific Danna include scores for Mira Nair’s Monsoon Wedding (2001), Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris’ Little Miss Sunshine (2006) and Bennett Miller’s Moneyball (2011). Most recently, his music can be heard on the Disney/Pixar animated feature Onward and on the Tom McCarthy-directed thriller Stillwater, which had its premiere in Cannes earlier this month.
Danna will receive his career honor Sept. 30 in Zurich.
Zurich’s artistic director Christian Jungen called Danna “one of Hollywood’s great composers. Both his remarkable versatility and the outstanding quality of his work sustained over decades are what make him unique. Without his compositions, such cornerstones of movie history as The Ice Storm, Monsoon Wedding, Little Miss Sunshine and Life of Pi would not have been nearly as emotional.”
Danna will also head up the jury for the Zurich Festival’s 2021 International Film Music Competition, judging the works of young film composers.
“I’m extremely proud to be the recipient of this year’s prestigious Career Achievement Award in Zurich, and will do my best to honour this award in my work in the years to come,” said Danna in a statement. “I’m also excited to serve as head of the jury for the International Film Music Competition at the Tonhalle Zurich, wonderfully unique among film music competitions by performing the finalist scores in front of a live audience with a symphony orchestra. I look forward to coming to legendary Zurich, the competition concert, and meeting these up and coming talents!”
Previous winners of the Zurich Film Festival’s lifetime achievement honor have included directors Alejandro González Iñárritu and Aaron Sorkin; composer Hans Zimmer; as well as actors Harrison Ford, Donald Sutherland and Armin Mueller-Stahl.
The 17th Zurich International Film Festival runs Sept. 23-Oct. 3.
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