George Fenton is best known as a composer of film scores. He has written the music for over seventy feature films and has collaborated with some of the most influential film makers of the late 20th century. Together with Michael Feast and David Dundas he co-wrote the music for Private Road (1971), a film he and Feast also starred in.
His transition from television to film scoring began in 1982 with Richard Attenborough's biopic Gandhi for which he was nominated — with his collaborator, Ravi Shankar — for the Original Music Score Academy Award.
Fenton has regularly written further film scores for Attenborough's movies including: Shadowlands, Cry Freedom, In Love and War, and Grey Owl.
His longstanding collaboration with Stephen Frears has not been limited to television productions. Fenton has scored four of Frear's feature films: Dangerous Liaisons, Hero, Mary Reilly, and Mrs Henderson Presents.
Fenton has scored more feature films for Ken Loach than for any other director; by March 2009, a total of ten. This started in 1994 with Ladybird, Ladybird; then, in chronological order: Land and Freedom, Carla's Song, My Name Is Joe, Bread and Roses, The Navigators, Sweet Sixteen, Ae Fond Kiss, The Wind That Shakes the Barley which won the Palme d'Or at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival, and, most recently, It's a Free World....
Fenton has developed other long-standing collaborations with film makers, scoring several films each for directors as diverse as: Harold Ramis, Neil Jordan, Nora Ephron, Nicholas Hytner, Phil Joanou, and Andy Tennant. Other influential film makers with whom he has worked include: Terry Gilliam, Pedro Almodóvar, Alan Clarke, Michael Radford, Michael Caton-Jones, Wayne Wang, Richard Eyre, Christopher Hampton, and Charles Sturridge.