The annual Screen Music Awards are headed back to Melbourne this year after last year's detour to Sydney, with a new host and musical director in tow.

Comedian, writer, actor and author Denise Scott will assume MC duties for the first time, the celebrated creative effusing of the evening: "It should be a great night, full of laughs."

She'll be joined by fellow first-timer Jessica Wells, who steps into the musical director role following a broad, acclaimed history as a composer for classical, commercial and film music. She recently produced the orchestral recordings of film soundtracks for Paper Planes (directed by Nigel Westlake) and Ali's Wedding (Jeffery Walker). Wells will conduct a live orchestra on the evening for a selected performance of songs from among the nominees.

This year will welcome the inaugural Distinguished Services To The Australian Screen Award, which will replace the International Achievement Award on the card. This wide-ranging prize will be available to producers, directors, philanthropists, educators, music supervisors and event producers, among others.

Spread across 12 categories, the Screen Music Awards pay tribute to the oft-unseen heroes behind the scenes who help complete cinematic worlds with their musical contributions, with compositions from documentaries, short films, mini-series, advertising, children's television and feature films all eligible for consideration.

"Whilst we composers often feel we toil alone in our music making, there are always other craftspeople not far off screen," Australian Guild Of Screen Composers president Guy Gross said in a statement. "From technicians to educators, from conductors to scriptwriters… it’s patently obvious we’re a melodic cog in a larger storytelling machine.

"We look forward to honouring those who have contributed to the industry and enabled us to do that voodoo that we do."

The 2017 Screen Music Awards will be held on Monday 13 November. Nominees are set to be announced on Thursday 12 October.

See below for the full list of categories.

2017 Screen Music Awards — Categories

  • Most Performed Screen Composer – Australia*
  • Most Performed Screen Composer – Overseas*
  • Best Music For A Documentary
  • Best Music For A Short Film
  • Best Original Song Composed For The Screen
  • Best Music For A Mini-Series Or Telemovie
  • Best Music For A Television Series Or Serial
  • Best Television Theme
  • Best Music For Children’s Television
  • Best Feature Film Score
  • Best Music For An Advertisement
  • Best Soundtrack Album
  • Distinguished Services To The Australian Screen Award (determined by APRA AMCOS Board of Directors)