|The Right Honourable
The Lord Puttnam of Queensgate
Kt CBE FRSA
Puttnam at the Orange British Academy Film Awards in London's Royal Opera House, February 2007
|Born||David Terence Puttnam
25 February 1941
Southgate, London, England
|Occupation||Film producer and educator|
|Spouse(s)||Patricia Mary Jones (1961-present)|
David Terence Puttnam, Baron Puttnam, CBE, FRSA (born 25 February 1941) is a British film producer and educator. He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, although he is not principally a politician.
Puttnam was born in Southgate, London, England, the son of Marie Beatrix, a homemaker, and Leonard Arthur Puttnam, a photographer. Educated at Minchenden Grammar School in London, Puttnam had an early career in advertising (see Collett Dickenson Pearce) and as agent acting for the photographers David Bailey and Brian Duffy
He turned to film production in the late 1960s, working with Sanford Lieberson's production company Goodtimes Enterprises, where he worked on films such as the rock musicals That'll Be the Day (1973) and Stardust (1974), Ken Russell's Mahler (1974) and Lisztomania (1975), and Alan Parker's Bugsy Malone (1976). In 1978 he also produced Alan Parker's Midnight Express, but for the US company Casablanca Filmworks.
In 1976, he set up his own production company, Enigma Productions, through which he produced a string of films, such as The Duellists (Ridley Scott's feature film debut), Chariots of Fire (which won the Academy Award for Best Picture), Local Hero, Memphis Belle, Meeting Venus and The Killing Fields and The Mission with Roland Joffé (which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986). Many of the Enigma films made in the 1980s were done in association with the financial backer Goldcrest Films.
Puttnam was chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures from 1986 to 1988. During his time at Columbia he was criticised for what some saw as a condescending attitude toward the Hollywood film industry, and for not sufficiently exploiting the studio's few box office hits. This strategic failure contributed to the sale of the studio to Sony.
In 1983, Puttnam was appointed as a Commander of The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. In 1995 Puttnam was appointed as a Knight Bachelor. In 1997 Puttnam was created as a life peer and was granted Letters Patent to become Baron Puttnam, of Queensgate in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In 1998, Puttnam was named in a list of the biggest private financial donors to the British Labour Party. In 2002 he chaired the joint scrutiny committee on the Communications Bill, which recommended an amendment to prevent ownership of British terrestrial TV stations by companies with a significant share of the newspaper market. This was widely interpreted as being aimed at stopping Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation from buying channel Five. When the government opposed the amendment, Puttnam brokered a compromise — the introduction of a "public interest" test to be applied by the new regulator Ofcom, but without explicit restrictions.
From 2004-2005, Puttnam chaired the Hansard Society Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy, the final report of which urged all political parties to commit to a renewal of parliamentary life in an attempt to reinvigorate representative democracy. In 2007, he chaired the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill. Puttnam is currently a trustee of the think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research.
Association with education
Puttnam was for 10 years chairman of the National Film and Television School and taught people such as Nick Park. He founded Skillset, which trains young people to become members of the film and television industries. In 2002 he was elected UK president of UNICEF.
Lord Puttnam was the first chancellor of the University of Sunderland from 1997 until 13 July 2007. He was appointed an Honorary Doctor of Education during the School of Education and Lifelong Learning's Academic Awards Ceremonies in his final week as Chancellor and was granted the Freedom of the City of Sunderland upon his retirement. In 1998, he founded the National Teaching Awards and became its first chairman. He was the founding chairman of the General Teaching Council 2000-2002. He was appointed as chancellor of the Open University in 2007. He was also the Chairman of NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) from 1998 until 2003. He is also chairman of Futurelab and on the board of directors of learning technologies company Promethean.
In 1982, he received the BAFTA Michael Balcon Award for his outstanding contribution to the British Film Industry. In February 2006, he was awarded the BAFTA Fellowship. He made the occasion notable by delivering a particularly moving homage to his late father who had died before he received his Oscar for Chariots of Fire.. He also congratulated contemporary filmmakers (specifically George Clooney) for making films with integrity: the lack of such films being produced had been the reason for his retirement from the film industry in the late 1990s.
In May 2006, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. On 12 July 2007, he was given the freedom of the City of Sunderland. In 2008, David received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science from Nottingham Trent University in recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the cultural landscape of the UK, in both economic and creative terms, and for his notable support for the Nottingham City-based GameCity Festival.
In 2009, in partnership with Sir Michael Barber, Lord Puttnam released We Are the People an education documentary featuring high-profile figures discussing their own experiences of education.
All in all, his films have won 10 Oscars, 25 BAFTA's and the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Puttnam co-authored (with Neal Watson) Of Movies and Money, published in Jan 2000 by Vintage Books.
When he became the chairman of Profero, a London based digital marketing agency In April 2007, he explained the move saying: "My experience over the past forty-odd (some very odd) years has encompassed marketing, entertainment and social issues, a fascinating mix that is integral to the daily lives of consumers and citizens. A business that can combine and magnify these dynamics can only create incredible value for their clients and, as a by-product, themselves. To me Profero is in just such a position, and it’s now my job to help them realise their potential."
He is patron of SCHOOLS NorthEast, an organisation set up in 2007 to promote education and forge relationships between schools in the North East of England. He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival, a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres
Selected filmography as producer
- Melody (1971)
- The Pied Piper (1972)
- That'll Be the Day (1973)
- Mahler (1974)
- Stardust (1974)
- Lisztomania (1975)
- Bugsy Malone (1976)
- The Duellists (1977)
- Midnight Express (1978)
- Foxes (1980)
- Chariots of Fire (1981)
- Local Hero (1982)
- The Killing Fields (1984)
- Cal (1984)
- The Mission (1986)
- Memphis Belle (1990)
- Meeting Venus (1991)
- Being Human (1994)
- War of the Buttons (1994)
Some films made or bought while head of Columbia (1986-1988)
Puttnam green lit and "picked up" a number of films while head of the studio, none of which had been released by the time he left the position. They included:
- The Big Town (1987)
- Someone to Watch Over Me (1987)
- Housekeeping (1987)
- Hope and Glory (1987) (pick up)
- The Last Emperor (1987)
- Leonard Part 6 (1987)
- The Big Easy (1987) (pick up)
- Zelly and Me (1988)
- School Daze (1988) (pick up)
- Little Nikita (1988)
- Stars and Bars (1988)
- A Time of Destiny (1988)
- Vice Versa (1988)
- Pulse (1988)
- Punchline (1988)
- Vibes (1988)
- The Beast (1988) (pick up)
- Yule, Andrew (1989). Fast Fade: David Puttnam, Columbia Pictures, and the Battle For Hollywood. Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-440-50177-6.
- "Lord David Puttnam: The Lessons of Leveson". Sunderland University. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- Film Reference: David Puttnam Biography Retrieved 2013-03-06
- Duedil company information: Enigma Productions Limited Retrieved 2013-02-17
- JISC: Lord Puttnam of Queensgate Retrieved 2013-02-17
- David Puttnam's official website: CV of Lord Puttnam Retrieved 2013-02-17
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1982.
- The London Gazette: . 30 December 1994.
- The London Gazette: . 1 August 1997.
- The London Gazette: . 30 October 1997.
- "'Luvvies' for Labour". BBC News. 30 August 1998. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- The Guardian - Puttnam urges parliament to modernise
- House of Commons Library - Standard Note - The Puttnam (Hansard Society) Commission: Members Only? Parliament in the Public Eye
- "David Puttnam-Policy Advisory Council". IPPR. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Lord David Puttnam". Open University. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Brokeback emerges as Bafta winner". BBC News. 19 February 2006. Retrieved 2006-10-08.
- Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award Accessed 13 August 2012
- "Freedom of city for film producer". BBC News. 12 July 2007. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- "2012–Lord David Puttnam of Queensgate CBE, FRSA". Cardiff University. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- "Lord Puttnam becomes chairman of Profero". MAD. 16 April 2007. Retrieved 2008-10-13.
- Ian McKellen, Alan Bates, Hugh Hudson, et al. For Ian Charleson: A Tribute. London: Constable and Company, 1990. pp. 7–11.
- Durham Cathedral website 
- Alexander Walker, Icons in the Fire: The Rise and Fall of Practically Everyone in the British Film Industry 1984-2000, Orion Books, 2005 p60-62
- University of Sunderland
- The Open University
- We are the people movie
- Futurelab's Board of Trustees
- David Puttnam at the Internet Movie Database
- "Opening windows". BBC News. 19 February 2006. - transcript of Sunday AM interview with Huw Edwards
- Speech on 'Educating for the Digital Society' at the IIEA - 19 January 2010
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|Chancellor of the University of Sunderland
|Chancellor of the Open University