Celebrated UK producer David Puttnam to be honoured by Montreal World Film Festival

Tuesday December 2, 2021

Montreal December 2nd, 2014 – Celebrated British producer David Puttnam will be honoured by the Montreal World Film Festival, it was announced.  Famous for overseeing the making of such classics of the 1970s and 80s as Midnight Express (1978), Chariots of Fire (1981), The Killing Fields (1984) and The Mission (1986), Lord Puttnam will will receive the Festival’s highest award, the Grand Prix of the Americas, in a special evening at the 2015 MWFF.  “The Festival is honoured to pay tribute to the cinematic ‘culture’ that Lord Puttnam introduced in his three decades as a producer on both sides of the Atlantic,” said MWFF Chairman Serge Losique. “Anyone perusing the list of films that he generated cannot help but be nostalgic about a ‘golden’ era during which art and popular entertainment in the movies were happily married.”


Born in London in 1941, David Terence Puttnam, Baron Puttnam (he was knighted in 1995), had an early career in advertising and as an agent for the photographers David Bailey and Brian Duffy. But he made his indelible mark on 20th century cinema as a producer of such films as Bugsy Malone (1976), The Duellists (1977), Midnight Express (1978), Chariots of Fire (1981), Local Hero (1983), The Killing Fields (1984), The Mission (1986), Memphis Belle (1990) and Le Confessional (1995, directed by Robert Lepage). His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme d'or at Cannes. 


He was Chairman and CEO of Columbia Pictures from 1986 to 1988. Among the notable films Columbia “green lit” or picked up during his tenure were Hope and Glory (1987), The Last Emperor (1987) and The Big Easy (1987). From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006. He retired from active film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries, but he continued to execute produce documentaries, most recently We Are the People We've Been Waiting For (2009) and I Am Chut Wutty (2014). In October 2013 he stepped down as Chancellor of the Open University a post he was appointed to in 2006, following ten years as Chancellor of The University of Sunderland.


He is the Republic of Ireland's Digital Champion; President of the Film Distributors’ Association; Chair of the TSL Advisory Board; Chair of the Academic Board, Pearson College; a UNICEF Ambassador, and Adjunct Professor of Film Studies and Digital Humanities at University College Cork. 


He was Deputy Chairman of Channel 4 Television (2006 - 2012) in Britain, and The Sage Gateshead (2007- 2012), founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) and Chair of both the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television and the National Film and Television School for ten years. He has also served as a trustee of the Tate Gallery in London, the Science Museum and the Thomson Foundation, among other organizations.


Puttnam was knighted in 1995 and was appointed to the British House of Lords (where he sits on the Labour benches) in 1997. In France he was made a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters in 1985, becoming an Officer in 1992, and a Commander in 2006.


The 39th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival will be held August 27 to September 7, 2015.

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Source:         Lison Lescarbeau

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