UK producer to speak at SPAA

30 August, 2010 by IF

Press release from SPAA

The Screen Producers Association of Australia (SPAA) has confirmed that Lord David Puttnam, the celebrated British film producer, politician and education leader, will be a keynote speaker at the annual Conference being held 16 to 19 November at The Hilton Hotel in Sydney. He will speak at a special morning plenary session on Friday 19 November.


"Lord Puttnam is recognised as one of the world's great film visionaries. Not only is he an Academy Award winning producer in his own right, he championed the debate in the UK in the early 2000s that led to the revival of the local film and television sectors through the introduction of independent production quotas and the OFCOM's role in determining terms of trade between independent producers and broadcasters. The Australian industry is at a critical time in our development with analogue switch-off in 2013, a media convergence review next year, the future of local content regulation up for grabs and the continuing rollout of the NBN. We need coherent public policy with clear, meaningful and achievable objectives that cover all aspects of the industry. Lord Puttnam's experience and knowledge will be invaluable as we determine the future landscape." said Geoff Brown, SPAA�s Executive Director.

Lord Puttnam has been a tireless champion of the British film industry and is a passionate advocate for training and education. He spent thirty years as an independent film producer and following an early career in advertising he turned to film production in the late 1960s. His successes as a multi-award winning producer include Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, The Duellists, Chariots of Fire, Local Hero, Memphis Belle, Meeting Venus, The Killing Fields and The Mission.

Lord David Puttnam retired from film production in 1998. He is now a working peer in the UK�s House of Lords and focuses his work on political and policy work in relation to education, the creative industries and the environment.

Lord Puttnam was the first Chancellor of the University of Sunderland from 1997 until 2007 when he became Chancellor of the Open University. In 1998 he founded the National Teaching Awards, which he chaired until 2008. He served as the first Chair of the General Teaching Council (2000-2002), and on a variety of other public bodies. He was founding Chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts, and for ten years chaired the National Museum of Photography, Film and Television, as well as serving as a Trustee of both the Tate Galley and the Science Museum. He has also recently become a Trustee of the Eden Project. He was also Vice President and Chair of Trustees at BAFTA (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) from 1994 to 2004, and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006.

He was appointed President of UNICEF UK in 2002, and played a key role in promoting the organisations advocacy, awareness and fundraising objectives. He retired from this post in July 2009.

In 2006, he became Deputy Chairman of Channel Four and also Chairman of Futurelab. In 2007, he became the Chairman of Profero servicing until 2009 at which time he became Deputy Chairman. In that same year, he also served as Chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Climate Change Bill Scrutiny Committee. He is currently a trustee of the UK think-tank The Institute for Public Policy Research, and has served on the foundation board of the World Economic Forum.

His other notable awards include a CBE in 1983; he was knighted in 1995 and appointed to the House of Lords in 1997. In France he has been honoured as a Chevalier (1985), Officer (1992) and, most recently (2006) Commander of Arts and Letters.

Lord Puttnam was appointed head of this year�s International Jury of the fourth annual APSA (Asia Pacific Screen Awards), which is to be held on the Gold Coast on 2 December.

SPAA is the industry association for the independent film and television industry, providing leadership and direction on all debates concerning the economics, creative and technological future of the screen production industries in Australia. It strives to create the business conditions for the industry to compete strongly in both local and overseas markets.

SPAA Conference, 16 – 19 November 2010, Hilton Hotel, Sydney

Media enquiries: Fran Lanigan t: 03 5983 2208 m: 0412 174 033 e: