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Puttnam Scholars: Get support from an Oscar-winning Producer

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Published: 4 June 2020

Each year, our good friend Lord David Puttnam, Oscar-winning film producer, takes a handful of students under his wing in a unique mentoring opportunity. Bonding over their love of film and passion for the industry, students from all stages of their university journey take part, from first year students to those undertaking postgraduate study.

Over an intensive period, the ‘Puttnam Scholars’ attend a series of interactive seminars delivered by Lord Puttnam or his friends, learning about all aspects of the movie industry, all while undertaking a project set by Lord Puttnam himself. The resulting film or documentary is premiered in a special ceremony in Sunderland in the summer.

The 2019 theme ‘Goodness’ led the students to create a 13-minute documentary, ‘In Limbo’. It shines a light on the struggle faced by refugees and those seeking asylum in the region, as well as the dedicated work of the workers and volunteers trying to help them. The film went on to be screened across the North East as well as in festivals and competitions.

Now in its third year, the 2020 Puttnam Scholars have finalised their film in the exceptional circumstances of the Covid-19 outbreak.


The Lord Puttnam Scholars Scheme opens for application in semester one for all students. There will then be a selection process from which a group of students will be chosen to participate.  

Lord Puttnam is a former Chancellor of the University and an Oscar-winning producer of films including Chariots of Fire, The Mission, The Killing Fields and Midnight Express. 

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