The BMI Foundation is pleased to announce Ghiya Rushidat as the winner of this year's Pete Carpenter Fellowship, a competitive residency for aspiring film, television, and video game composers. Rushidat’s piece, Fly and Flow, was chosen as the winning score by a distinguished judging panel that included award-winning BMI composers Christopher Lennertz and Timothy Wynn, Emmy Award winning composer Ben Decter, last year’s Pete Carpenter Fellowship winner Casey Kolb, Emmy nominated composer Ed Rodgers and 2006 Pete Carpenter Fellowship winner, John Kaefer. The program includes a $2,000 stipend for four to five weeks of intensive mentorship with Lennertz and Wynn at their Sonic Fuel Studios in Los Angeles, CA.
"This is beyond exciting,” said Rushidat. “I am honored to be receiving this opportunity and thrilled to meet Tim, Chris and their entire team. I cannot wait to explore what these five weeks have in store for all of us."
A Jordan native, Rushidat has already broken ground as one of the few female film composers from the Middle East. She's played over 150 concerts in Jordan and abroad. The Gli Enarmonici Ensemble has performed her composition Yassamine in Italy, making her the first Arab composer to have their work performed by the Ensemble.
“In light of the lack of female representation in film and TV composition, we are particularly ecstatic that this year’s winner is a woman,” said Deirdre Chadwick. “We were encouraged to see a number of very strong submissions from women this year, and while judging is always based on the quality of the music, we certainly hope that women see this fellowship and all the BMI Foundation’s programs as achievable opportunities.”
An international talent, Rushidat is a refreshing voice in film music today — bringing her unique cultural background, knowledge of classical music and understanding of western music trends to the forefront of her innovative sound.
She began playing the piano at age four and continued on as a concert pianist until the loss of two people very close to her, one of whom was her father. These tragic events moved her to begin writing longer solo tracks which she went on to place with top TV channels in the Middle East. In 2014, Rushidat moved to the United States to explore her film composition opportunities in Hollywood. Upon arrival, she began working on the feature film Pen Of Mirrors where her melodic, dissonant and layered score garnered critical praise.
This bold artist has risked her life to share her music with diverse audiences. Once physically attacked after a concert in Jordan, Rushidat insists on following her calling. Hailing from a region of the world where music can be viewed as sinful and women are often barred from having a public life, she has shattered stereotypes about women in film music and hopes to continue sharing her voice and emotive and provocative scores with American audiences.
"I want to inspire people to pursue their dreams, persevere...,” said Rushidat. “Not as just a woman composer, but as a human."
Passionate about philanthropy, she has lent her time to various charities by extensively volunteering for over a decade helping abused women, children with disabilities and people fighting cancer. She was nominated for the influential Queen Rania award and is partnered with an ex-NASA rocket scientist developing technologies to help children with autism express themselves more freely.
Rushidat is currently composing original soundtracks for a variety of plays, feature films, short films, video games and TV spots. She is especially interested in scoring films not traditionally offered to women, like big action blockbusters.
About the Pete Carpenter Fellowship
The Pete Carpenter Fellowship was established in 1989 by BMIF Advisory Panelist and iconic composer Mike Post, in memory of the late Pete Carpenter, who was Post’s co-composer of television themes and scores including The A-Team, Magnum P.I., The Rockford Files (for which they won a GRAMMY), Hardcastle and McCormick, Hunter and Riptide. Also the winner of an EMMY and fifty BMI Film & TV Awards, Post is best known for his TV theme songs for series including Law & Order, Law & Order SVU, and NYPD Blue. Over the years, the Pete Carpenter Fellowship has nurtured thriving television and film scoring careers, including those of EMMY-winning composers Chris Beck (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Frozen) and Roger Neill (Chicago Hope, King of the Hill, Mozart in the Jungle), as well as Christopher Tyng (Futurama, The O.C., Suits) and Atli Örvarsson (The Perfect Guy, Chicago Fire, Chicago Med, and Chicago PD).
About Sonic Fuel Studios
Sonic Fuel Music was formed in 1999 by award-winning composers Christopher Lennertz and Timothy Michael Wynn. Building on successes scoring network television, documentaries, independent and studio features, Sonic Fuel has adapted their work to serve short form and video games. Their unique insights into both the classical world and current music styles have helped Sonic Fuel find a niche serving the musical needs of film, television, games and commercial enterprises from their comfortable studio facility in El Segundo, California. Sonic Fuel Studios is a state-of-the-art, eco-friendly tracking and mixing facility specializing in Film, Television, and Interactive Media music and events.
About the BMI Foundation
The BMI Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded in 1985 to encourage the creation, performance, and study of American music. The Foundation’s programs include competitive scholarships for songwriters and composers, operating grants for nonprofit arts presenters, and support for innovative music education initiatives in schools and communities across the country. For more information about the work of the Foundation, please visit our website at www.bmifoundation.org. For exclusive news and content, follow @bmifoundation on Twitter and Instagram, and like “BMI Foundation” on Facebook at facebook.com/bmifoundation.