"Tom Hooper brilliantly transforms the classic stage musical Les Misérables into a cinema marvel,” says fest chairman Harold Matzner, adding that “By asking his amazing cast of actors to sing live on film, Hooper allows them to connect even further with their characters, resulting in emotional powerhouse performances that are enthralling audiences worldwide." Hooper's film is also contending for four Golden Globe awards, and has placed on several Ten Best lists, including AFI and The National Board of Review. He joins past Sonny Bono Award recipients Danny Boyle, Quentin Tarantino, Michel Hazanavicius, Baz Luhrmann and Gus Van Sant.
Of Danna, Matzner states "His score for Life of Pi takes you on an emotional journey that plays off the 3-D visuals director Ang Lee created." Danna and Lee have worked together three times; they also collaborated for "The Ice Storm" and "Ride with the Devil." Past recipients of the Frederick Loewe Award include T Bone Burnett, Alexandre Desplat, Danny Elfman, Randy Newman and Diane Warren.