The aim is to compose a new musical interpretation to the short film “Dans les Bois” (“In the Woods”). Candidates can either compose the score 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. The competition screening and the award gala will take place on 25 April 2020.

The winner of the WDR FILMSCORE AWARD will have the opportunity to record an original composition with the WDR Funkhausorchester - for many young composers this could be their first opportunity to record with a large orchestra and begin filling out their filmscoring calling card.

The winner for the best SOUND DESIGN receive a 5.1 cinematic mix down in the prestigious Cologne-based sound mixing studio TORUS GmbH.

Closing date for the competition was March 1st, 2020 at 09:00am CET.


The contest is open to all active students in the fields of sound, music, and/or composition at a European film or music school (without age limit); or any young European creatives up to and including 30 years of age.

Short film “Dans les Bois” (France, 2018, 6.39 min)
Directed by: Salome Bertolone Lopez, Maxime Dartois, Marjorie Grindas, Zoe Guillet, Alissa Mazouz, and Rebecca Waehler

In the short movie “Dans les Bois” a little cow finds her way out of her captivity on a farm with the help of a little squirrel. But newly won freedom in the forest has its risks.


Regulations EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION at SoundTrack_Cologne 17, 2020:

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

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


b) 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 17 competition will only be processed if

a) you 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!

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

c) you have sent in a complete application including your short biography, filmography and photography

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

e) you have accepted to provide further personal details together with your actual submission


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

there are no rules - except:

1. Create your own world of sounds!

2. Create your own world of music!

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

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

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).

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 “Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)”.

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

8. Upload your data in one ZIP-file named "" to a server or online platform of your choice. Please note the following requirements:
A. Include the following files in your ZIP file:
- 1. A portrait photo (max. 1.000 x 1.000px) named "yourlastname_yourfirstname.ext"
- 2. 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. And in case of a teamwork additionally one MP3 file with the music and one MP3 file with the sounddesign (please see item 4. below).
- 3. 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!
- 4. 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).
B. 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.
C. Make sure, that your ZIP-file is accessible without an expiry date.

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 wave files.

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.


12. The SoundTrack_Cologne committee will select the 12 best entries for the final shortlist. Shortlisted films will be shown during SoundTrack_Cologne 17 on Saturday, April 25th, 2020 in front of the public audience and the jury.


D) Further Regulations

SoundTrack_Cologne is the organiser of the competition “EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION” which will take place during SoundTrack_Cologne 17. The contestant will participate in the competition and will, within this context, create a new soundtrack (music/special effects) for the following film:

Title: Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)

Directed by: Alissa Mazouz, Maxime Dartois, Salomé Bertolone-Lopez, Zoé Guillet, Marjorie Grindas, Rebecca Wahler

Composer Original Music: Dougal Kemp

Duration: 6’38”

Distributed by: Miyu Distribution

Date and country of production: 2018, France


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 “Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)” – 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 “Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)” processed during the EUROPEAN TALENT COMPETITION at SoundTrack_Cologne is used with kind permission of Alissa Mazouz, Maxime Dartois, Salomé Bertolone-Lopez, Zoé Guillet, Marjorie Grindas, Rebecca Wahler (original rights holders) and Miyu Distribution (distributor)."

Every other use of the subject of the film “Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)” 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 “Dans Les Bois (In the Woods)” – 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.

If there are any questions or problems, please check our FAQ or contact us any time via


Yes, as long as you are an active student in the field of sound design/sound and/or composition at an European film and/or music school, there is no age limit.

If you are not an active student (anymore), the age limit applies for both composers and sound designers.

It is possible to submit more than one project, but they need to differ in every creative aspect from each other. This means that you can’t use the same sound design with just different music on it.

We prefer common filehosting-services like Dropbox, MyAirBridge or WeTransfer. It is important that we do not have to register on a page in order to download the file and that the download link does not expire until the end of the festival.

Yes, you can enter the contest as a team, even if several people worked on sound design/music only. If you worked in a team, you have to upload the movie with music and sound design of you and your partner and an mp3 file with your work only. 

If you don't have the possibilities to use real instruments, sound libraries are fine.

You can choose if you want to compose the music, do the sound design or do both. There will be no disadvantages if you only do one of them, because there will be two different prizes for both, music and sound design.

If you are not European, you must at least study at a European school.