The Lord Puttnam
Lord Puttnam's official parliamentary photo
|Chancellor of the Open University|
3 October 2007 – 12 March 2014
|Preceded by||The Baroness Boothroyd|
|Succeeded by||The Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho|
|Chancellor of the University of Sunderland|
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Steve Cram|
|Member of the House of Lords |
|Assumed office |
27 October 1997
David Terence Puttnam
25 February 1941
Southgate, London, England
Patricia Mary Jones
|Occupation||Film producer and educator|
David Terence Puttnam, Baron Puttnam,  His productions include Chariots of Fire, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture. He sits on the Labour benches in the House of Lords, although he is not principally a politician.(born 25 February 1941) is a British film producer and educator.
Puttnam was born in Southgate, London, England, the son of Marie Beatrix, a homemaker of Jewish origin, and Leonard Arthur Puttnam, a photographer. Educated at Minchenden Grammar School in London, Puttnam had an early career in advertising, including five formative years at 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.
He and Lieberson produced the documentaries Peacemaking 1919 (1971), Glastonbury Fayre (1972), and Bringing It All Back Home (1972).
They produced The Final Programme (1973), a science fiction film, and made some more documentaries, Double Headed Eagle: Hitler's Rise to Power 1918-1933 (1973), and Swastika (1974).
There were more documentaries: Radio Wonderful (1974), Brother Can You Spare a Dime (1975), James Dean: The First American Teenager (1975) and The Memory of Justice (1976).
A second film with Russell, Lisztomania (1975), was a box office disaster and led to the end of the Puttnam-Lieberson partnership.
Puttnam had a box office success with Bugsy Malone (1976), a musical he executive produced, written and directed by Alan Parker and produced by Alan Marshall. It was the last film Puttnam would make under the Goodtimes Banner. He set up a new company, Enigma Films.
Puttnam's next film was his most successful yet. Chariots of Fire (1981), the first feature directed by Hugh Hudson, became a massive hit and won the Academy Award for Best Picture. It was produced in association with Goldcrest Pictures.
Puttnam set up a TV company, Enigma TV, and made a series of TV movies in association with Goldcrest which carry Puttnam's name as executive producer. Six were made as a series called "First Love" for the fledgling Channel Four: P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang (1982), directed by Apted; Experience Preferred... But Not Essential (1982); Secrets (1983); Those Glory Glory Days (1983); Sharma and Beyond (1983); and Arthur's Hallowed Ground (1984). Other films produced for television were Forever Young (1983); Red Monarch (1983); and Winter Flight (1984).
Puttnam continued to produce features. He had another success with Local Hero (1983), written and directed by Bill Forsyth. He also did the acclaimed Cal (1984), directed by Pat O'Connor and The Killing Fields (1984), directed by Roland Joffe.
He continued to executive produce TV movies like The Frog Prince (1985), Mr. Love (1985), Defence of the Realm (1986), and Knights & Emeralds (1986). He produced The Mission (1986) directed by Joffe from a script by Robert Bolt which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1986).
Puttnam returned to producing individual films with Memphis Belle (1990), Meeting Venus (1991), A Dangerous Man: Lawrence After Arabia (1992), Being Human (1994), War of the Buttons (1994), The Confessional (1994), and My Life So Far (1995).
He is currently overseeing pre-production of Ben Stewart’s account of the Arctic 30 incident, Don’t Trust, Don’t Fear, Don’t Beg. He is the President of the Film Distributors’ Association; Chair of the TSL Advisory Board; Chair of Nord Anglia International School, Dublin; Life President, National Film & Television School, a UNICEF Ambassador, and Adjunct Professor of Film Studies and Digital Humanities at University College Cork. He is the chair of Atticus Education, an online education company based in Ireland. Atticus delivers interactive seminars on film and a variety of other subjects to educational institutions around the world.
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 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 to 2005, Puttnam chaired the Hansard Society Commission on 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.
In June 2019, Lord Puttnam was appointed chair of the special House of Lords Democracy and Digital Technologies Committee, set up to investigate the impact of digital technologies on democracy.
Puttnam was for 10 years chairman of the National Film and Television School whose alumni included people such as Nick Park, and in 2017, he succeeded Lord Richard Attenborough as Life President. He founded Skillset, which trains young people to become members of the film and television industries. From 2002-2009 he was UK president of UNICEF and remains an ambassador.
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 2006-2017. He was also the Chairman of NESTA (The National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts) from 1998 until 2003. He was also on the board of directors of learning technologies company Promethean.
Lord Puttnam is the patron of Schools NorthEast, an organisation set up in 2007 to represent all schools in the North East of England. He is also a patron of the Shakespeare Schools Festival (now Shakespeare Schools Foundation), a charity that enables school children across the UK to perform Shakespeare in professional theatres.
In March 2015 he was made a freeman at the Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead in recognition of his service as chairman at the Sage Gateshead.
Lord Puttnam is a member of the Commonwealth of Learning's Board of Governors.
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.
Lord Puttnam is the recipient of over 50 honorary degrees and fellowships from the UK and overseas.
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. He was elected to the Royal Irish Academy in 2017.
In 2009, in partnership with Sir Michael Barber, Puttnam released We Are the People We've been Waiting For an education documentary featuring high-profile figures discussing their own experiences of education.
All in all, his films have won 10 Oscars, 25 BAFTAs and the Palme d'Or at Cannes.
Puttnam was deputy Chairman of Channel 4 Television from 2006-2012. He is president of the Film Distributors' Association (FDA) and chair of the TSL Advisory Board.
Puttnam co-authored (with Neil Watson) Movies and Money, published in January 2000 by Vintage Books.
When Puttnam 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."
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| Chancellor of the University of Sunderland
| Chancellor of the Open University
The Baroness Lane-Fox of Soho