European Talent Competition


The aim is to compose a new musical interpretation to the short film "Balcony Cacophony" (D: Quentin Haberham). Candidates can either compose the score and/or produce the sound design to the film. They may also work together and apply as a combined composer/sound designer team. We wish to particularly encourage sound designers to apply to the competition!

The twelve finalists will be presented with their works to the audience and the jury at SoundTrack_Cologne during the competition screening. The award gala will take place on Friday, July 5th, 2024.

The winner of the WDR FILMSCORE AWARD will have the opportunity to record an original composition of 7 – 9 minutes length with the WDR Funkhausorchester.

The winner of the EUROPEAN TALENT AWARD SOUND DESIGN will receive a 5.1 cinematic mix down in the prestigious sound mixing studio Chaussee SoundVision GmbH

Submission deadline was April 24th, 2024, 10:00AM CET.


When a rich lady with a passion for topiary must swap her mansion with lush gardens for a tiny council flat, she finds it difficult to cope with her new neighbor and his strange hobbies. A crazy neighborhood feud starts.

Written and Directed by: Quentin Haberham
Duration: 5”
Animation: Quentin Haberham
Lead Modelmaker: Zaou Vaughan
DOP: Marc de Meijer
Composers Original Music and Sound design: Rens Machielse and Willem Schneider
Production Company: Family Affair Films
Producer: Chris Stenger
Sales: SND Films
Date and country of production: 2022, Netherlands



Participation Regulations • European Talent Competition

Regulations EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION at SoundTrack_Cologne 21, 2024:

To join the EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION in the categories “WDR FILMSCORE AWARD” and “SOUND DESIGN” you have to be:

1.1 active student in the field of sound design/sound and/or composition at an European film and/or music school (without age limit)


1.2 ...a European creative in the field of sound design and / or composition/music and younger than 31 years (i.e. by the time of your submission to the EUROPEAN TALENT AWARD, you must be aged 30 or under)


Your application for the SoundTrack_Cologne 21 competition will only be processed if:

2.1 fill in the application form correctly and fully in English. Wrong details or entries like “blank blank blank”, “Please request this at …”, links to websites or similar entries will automatically lead to a disqualification of the submission!

2.2 study in the areas of editing, sound design, sound, composing, music or you are younger than 31 years

2.3 have sent in a complete application including your short biography, filmography and photography

2.4 have read and accepted our participation conditions and the students' set of rules as stated below.

2.5 have accepted to provide further personal details together with your actual submission


3) SET OF RULES – Please read carefully!!!

there are no rules - except:

3.1 Create your own world of sounds!

3.2 Create your own world of music!

3.3 Create your own "audiosphere" in relation to the visual world of the film.

3.4 No compilation or usage of archived music is allowed! Of course the usage of SFX and sample sound libraries is allowed!

3.5 Musical composition and sound design will be judged as two creative arts that complement one another in a significant and distinctive way. Of course musical elements and those of sound design can take over the function of each other. Sounddesigner and composer will based on their reply in the respective question automatically join the competition in the discipline “Sounddesign” and / or “Filmscore” (WDR Filmscore Award).

3.6 Even if the Prize will be a recording session with a symphonic Orchestra that does not mean that the Jury will prefer orchestral works! Find the sounds and music that show your creativity, give the jury an impression of your special musical character. Convince them by being a distinctive composer! But don’t forget: You have to score and create sounds for that specific film “Balcony Cacophony”, pay close attention to the dramaturgy, the characters and the emotions!

3.7 To complete your submission, please follow the link provided with the email about your application. Fill in the submission form (not the application form):
- Personal details
- Short biography (max 500 characters) in English language
- Filmography (max 4.000 characters) in English language
- Information about your studies and current work

3.8 Upload your data in one ZIP-file named "" to a server or online platform of your choice. Please note the following requirements:

3.8.1 Include the following files in your ZIP file:
a) A portrait photo (max. 1.000 x 1.000px) named "yourlastname_yourfirstname.ext"
b) An MP3 file with your music and/or sound design. Please make sure to have the beep sound in your file. If you worked in a team, the MP3 shall contain your team's work. 
c) The provided video file of the competition film with your music and/or sound design as .mp4-file or .mov-file. If you worked in a team, the provided video file of the competition film shall contain your team's work, not your individual part of the team work!
d) Only if you worked in a team: Please also include your part of the work as additional MP3 file (e.g. if you composed the score, the MP3 should contain the score only. If you did the sound design, the MP3 should contain the sound mix only).
e) Only if you did both music and sound design: Please also include separate MP3 files with music only and sound design only.

3.8.2 Make sure, that your ZIP-file is accessible without prior registration (e.g. on Dropbox and similar platforms). Put the link (and password if needed) in the respective fields in the submission form.

3.8.3 Make sure, that your ZIP-file is accessible without an expiry date.

3.9 File format for the audio files is Stereo, mp3 with 320 kbps and a resolution of 48kHz. Only the nominees will later on be asked to send wav files.

3.10 For the competition screening we are going to synchronize the audio files with the picture. To be safe please set a beep on your audio file exactly at the same position where you find the beep in the quicktime – 2” before the first image.


3.12 The SoundTrack_Cologne committee will select the 12 best entries for the final shortlist. Shortlisted films will be shown during SoundTrack_Cologne 21 in front of the public audience and the jury.


4) Further Regulations

SoundTrack_Cologne is the organiser of the competition “EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION” which will take place during SoundTrack_Cologne 21. The contestant will participate in the competition and will, within this context, create a new soundtrack (music / sound design) for the following film:

Title: Balcony Cacophony
Written and Directed by: Quentin Haberham
Duration: 5”
Animation: Quentin Haberham
Lead Modelmaker: Zaou Vaughan
DOP: Marc de Meijer
Composers Original Music and Sound design: Rens Machielse and Willem Schneider
Production Company: Family Affair Films
Producer: Chris Stenger
Sales: SND Films
Date and country of production: 2022, Netherlands


Article 1 - Transfer of Right of Use

The contestant permits SoundTrack_Cologne to
a) perform,
b) broadcast,
c) archive,
d) and in small quantities for non-commercial distribution to copy on DVD

the subject of the contract which has been processed by him during the competition as well as the documentation of the competition.

If the version of the film processed by the contestant wins an award the contestant is entitled to use this version for personal non-commercial promotional purposes (Show Reel [only used for applications. It is not allowed to publish a show reel containing the short film “Balcony Cacophony” – in full length or parts of it – on the own or any other website, please read §1.4 below], application documents etc.) in conjunction with the following credits:

The film “Balcony Cacophony” processed during the EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION at SoundTrack_Cologne 21 is used with kind permission of Family Affair Films, Netherlands (rights holder) and Quentin Haberham (copyright holder).

Every other use of the subject of the film “Balcony Cacophony” in its original version or in the relevant processed version is subject to the permission of the holder of the rights in each case.

It is strictly prohibited to publish the film “Balcony Cacophony” – in full length or parts of it – on any sites of the World Wide Web – even if it has your music/sound. Every public use of the film has to be permitted by the owners of the film rights.

Article 2 - Remuneration
The contestant will receive no payment for activities carried out within the context of this contract.

Article 3 - Further Provisions
This contract shall be construed and enforced according to the laws of the German Federal Republic. No subsidiary verbal agreements have been reached. Both parties must acknowledge changes and amendments to this contract in writing.

If any part of this contract is found to be partly or totally invalid or unenforceable by a court of law the validity of the remaining sections shall not be affected.

Article 4 – The applicant’s email address
To participate in the EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION it is necessary to allow us to use your email address for information purposes about the EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION.

Regulations of the WDR Funkhausorchester 
1.) Definition of the conditions for the continuation of the cooperation between the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne and SoundTrack_Cologne, organised by Televisor Troika GmbH:

The winner of the Film Music Competition of SoundTrack_Cologne in the category filmscore (WDR Filmscore Award) will be given the opportunity to record an own score composition (of 7-9 minutes for a future film or media project) with the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne. The recording session will be held in the WDR concert studio for the duration of one working day.

2.) The composer shall retain the rights to the composition. The composer may use the final product of the recording session (Film, Television, DVD etc.) and the recording itself may be used and exploited by the composer (coupling, synchronisation, cutting and processing, broadcasting, film screening, additional processing, streaming). Exploitation for pornographic or ideologically questionable purposes (national socialist, those which glorify violence) are excluded.

3.) Together with the score, the composer shall also provide a detailed description of the project which clearly describes the utilisation of the music. WDR reserves the right to examine the contents of the final product and is given a right of veto, which WDR can exercise should the content framework not be complied with. WDR will only transfer the production rights after this examination has proved successful.

4.) WDR shall be granted the unrestricted (non-exclusive) broadcasting rights, also the right to the first broadcast – as well as the right to be named by the first licensee and by further licensees, as far as this is possible or can be influenced by the composer.

5.) The technical recording format and production-related details shall be bindingly agreed upon in advance by the composer and the department Produktion Musik. Produktion Musik shall, after consultation with the composer, be obliged to provide, as far as possible within the framework of WDR, the technical means (for example, click-track) which are necessary for the successful recording.

6.) Following the recording session with the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne, the winner will be provided with a broadcastable stereo mix of his recording in WDR standards. In addition to the stereo mix, the winner will also be given any multi-track recordings that may have been made. The winner has the right to carry out further processing. Once the broadcastable stereo mix has been handed over, WDR will not provide either personnel or technical resources and services for further processing of the music.

The department Produktion Musik reserves the right to carry out a musical and technical final inspection of the final mix.

7.) The point of contact in matters of score, conductor, orchestra and guests is the management of the WDR Funkhausorchester Cologne. The point of contact in matters of technical processes, technical settings etc. is the department Produktion Musik.

8.) The score shall be delivered to the office of the orchestra management not later than 6 weeks before the commencement of the recording. The score shall be free of errors and shall include all performance instructions. The winner undertakes to have the score proofread by his supervising professor or a professional colleague. The score delivered is the non-negotiable basis for the recording process on the day of recording.

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