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 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). Her collaboration with Fuentes-León continued on a second feature film, 'THE VANISHED ELEPHANT' (El Elefante Desaparecido) 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 a 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'.
In 2015 Selma Mutal also scored the music for 'EDERLY' directed by Polish film director Piotr Dumala, (Franz Kakfa).
In 2013 the International Film Festival of Aubagne (France), commissioned her to direct the Master Class on Film Composition culminating in a live performance during the festival's closing ceremony.