It has been a continuing tradition at The Puttnam School of Film to host a guest from the film fraternity at the end of each week, complementing the school’s existing academic curriculum with an interactive student seminar.
On the evening of 9th November, the student body and faculty had an exclusive opportunity to meet the man behind whose name the school was named after. Born David Terence Puttnam, the highly distinguished British film producer has been behind motion pictures that have garnered 10 Oscars and 25 BAFTAs along with the Palme D’Or.
The milestone event was notably organized across two time zones – firstly, the LASALLE College of the Arts Campus in Singapore and second, Lord Puttnam’s residential office in Skibbereen, Ireland. Made possible through state-of-the-art video conferencing technology, attendees from LASALLE included Head of School, Gisli Snaer and Wolfgang Muench, Dean of the Faculty of Media Arts.
The maiden seminar enjoyed a lively start with Lord David Puttnam’s enthusiasm over the delivery format as well as his hopes to use this as a bridge to interview other filmmakers in a third location. Referring to these personalized sessions as an “experiment” and a “world-first”, he added that it worked best when there is a mutual familiarity between him and the students, their interests and visions.
Students were primed for an enriching evening that included around 38 minutes of film clips. From the opening narration of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio (1941) to the moving climax of Cinema Paradiso (1988), the audience followed a chronological journey of the speaker’s filmic memories as they recounted on their own. Through these iconic moments in classic Western cinema, Lord Puttnam would raise parallel concerns for students to reflect on themselves.
BA (Hons) Level 1 student, Navil Aman Moushum, one among several volunteers that evening shared, “It was because of rejection that I wanted to be a filmmaker,” as he related the story of how being rejected by his father to become a filmmaker spurred to him to make his first short film and validate his aspirations at the age of 18.
At the end of the approximately two-hour introductory session, as if to reiterate why the students were there in the first place, Lord Puttnam issued a challenge to students – to create moments in film “that people can treasure… and keep in their minds for all time”.
A challenge that students will hope to triumph over with the support of their peers, lecturers and perhaps, the Lord himself.
About The Masterclass Seminars
Lord David Puttnam has launched a new venture in online education which involves him delivering film, moving images and production modules to university students across the world from his home in Skibbereen. Known as Atticus Education, The Puttnam School of Film is proud to be one of the first film schools in the world to be a part of this programme. The next seminar will take place in January 2013, with more sessions planned for the following academic year.