Biography

British post-classical composer, producer and pianist Derek Kirkup is a graduate of the UK’s Academy of Contemporary Music, a foundation that kick-started his career in songwriting before invitations to score for film soon came in.

He scored interactive feature Olive Green (2014) which picked-up the Gold World medal at New York Festivals TV and Film awards in competition with HBO’s Game of Thrones’ spin-off web series. 2016 saw a collaboration with writer/director Carl Mackenzie on the acclaimed short The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan. Successes that increased demand for Kirkup’s scores and continued the flow of awards.

His most recent feature score for James Webber’s multi-award-winning Sorority (2022) starring Kate Dickie and Sophie Kennedy Clark, saw him pick-up the Alan Parsons Award for Best Original Score at the Scotland International Festival of Cinema.

Kirkup’s skilful eclecticism is on show in his latest and very different score for Director Giles Buchanan’s horror short Terror, which has recently embarked on a festival run.

Kirkup has just completed an engaging collection of piano-based electronica, ‘Hauntings’, set for release in June 2024.

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Credits

Awards and Nominations

Terror (2023)

  • Winner – Best Scottish Short Film – British Short Film Awards 2023
  • Winner – Best Horror Short Film – FilmQuest 2023
  • Official Selection – Aesthetica 2023
  • Official Selection – Director’s Notes 2023
  • Official Selection – Telluride Horror Show 2023
  • Official Selection – Screamfest Horror Film Festival

Sorority (2020)

  • Alan Parsons Award for Best Original Score for a Feature  – Scotland International Film Festival 2022
  • Best Ensemble Cast in a Feature Film – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Best Supporting Actor – Sam Gittins – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Best Supporting Actress – Kate Dickie – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Vanguard Award For Cinematic Achievement by an Actress in a Feature Film  – Sophie Kennedy Clark – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Vanguard Award For Cinematic Achievement by a Director of a Feature Film – James Webber – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Vanguard Award For Cinematic Achievement Feature Film – Scotland IFC 2022
  • Winner Best Feature Film – Unrestricted View Film Festival 2021
  • Winner Best Director – James Webber – Unrestricted View Film Festival 2021
  • Winner Best Actress (Feature) – Sophie Kennedy Clark – Unrestricted View Film Festival 2021
  • Winner Best Actor (Feature) – Sam Gittins – Unrestricted View Film Festival 2021
  • Winner Best Film – Southampton International Film Festival 2020
  • Winner Best Director – James Webber – Southampton International Film Festival 2020
  • Winner Best Supporting Actress – Kate Dickie – Southampton International Film Festival 2020
  • Official Selection British Urban Film Festival 2020
  • Nominated Best Feature British Urban Film Festival 2020
  • Nominated Best Actor (Sam Gittins) British Urban Film Festival 2020
  • Official Selection Cardiff International Film Festival
  • Official Selection London Lift-Off Film Festival 2020

The Interrogation of Olivia Donovan (2016)​

  • Jury Special Mention Manchester International Film Festival 2017

Olive Green (2014)

  • Gold Medal (Entertainment Category) – New York Festivals World’s Best TV and Film Awards 2016
  • Winner (Educational Apps Category) – BETT Awards 2016
  • Educational Learning Resources Award – London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2016
  • Golden Camera Award – US International Film & Video Festival 2015
  • Grand Prix Best of Festival (Entertainment) – US International Film & Video Festival 2015
  • Gold Dolphin Award (Interactive Video) – Cannes Corporate Media and TV Awards 2015