Born in Lima (Peru) to Dutch parents, Selma Mutal studied composition at the National Conservatory of Amsterdam and Film Scoring at the 'École Normale de Musique' in Paris. She also studied piano improvisation with renowned improviser Misha Mengelberg.
Selma Mutal started her career composing for dance, theatre and television. Since 2003, she has also been working in cinema. Some of her credits include director Claudia Llosa's film 'THE MILK OF SORROW' (La Teta Asustada) that won the Golden Bear at the 2009 Berlin Festival and was nominated at the 2010 Oscars Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.
In 2010 Selma Mutal composed the soundtrack for 'UNDERTOW' (Contracorriente) directed by Javier Fuentes-León that received various awards among them the World Cinema Audience Award for Best Film at the 2011 Sundance Festival and Best Original Soundtrack Award at the International Film Festival of Annonay, (France). The collaboration with Fuentes-León continued on a second feature film, 'THE VANISHED ELEPHANT' that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2014.
In 2012, Selma Mutal composed the music for 'BURDEN OF SILENCE' directed by filmmaker Tod Lending (Legacy). In 2013 she scored Tod Lending's short film 'VEZO' that received the Sundance Institute/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Award. In 2015, her collaboration with Tod Lending continued on 'ALL THE DIFFERENCE', a feature-length documentary filmed over five and a half years and inspired by Wes Moore's New York Times bestselling book, 'The Other Wes'.
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Since 2007, Selma Mutal collaborates with French Music Publisher 'Frédéric Leibovitz Editeur' who has also produced many of her soundtracks.
In 2013 the International Film Festival of Aubagne (France), commissioned Selma Mutal to direct the Master Class on Film Composition culminating in a live performance during the festival's closing ceremony.
In 2016 she scored the music for 'EDERLY' directed by Polish film director Piotr Dumala. In 2016 she also composed the soundtrack for 'BLOCK'HOOD', a city building video game by Architect and game Designer José Sanchez that received the 'Best Game Play Award' at the 2016 Games for Change Festival in New York.
In 2019 she scored the music to 'THE EUROPEANS' directed by Victor Garcia-León, (France /Spain co-production). She also composed the music to Javier Fuentes-León's last feature film 'The Best Families' to be released in 2021.
In February 2020, Selma Mutal won the Best Soundtrack Award for the TV Mini Series 'Lucky Day / El Dia de Mi Suerte at the International Series Festival of Buenos Aires.
Since 2015, she has also been composing for Contemporary Dance. Her latest projects include 'In.Quieta Rooms' (2017) by the Zurich based Nunzio Impellizzeri Dance Company. Recently she also composed the music for the company's new creation 'Corpo Barocco' which premiered at Zurich's Tanzhaus in October 2018.