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Film World Doyen Lord Puttnam To Address New Zealand Industry At Spada Conference

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Fuseworks Media
Film World Doyen Lord Puttnam To Address New Zealand Industry At Spada Conference

Britain's foremost advocate for the film industry, Academy Award winner and producer of Chariots of Fire, The Mission and The Killing Fields, Lord Puttnam, will be the keynote speaker at the 2010 SPADA Conference in Auckland on 11 and 12 November.

SPADA CEO Penelope Borland says: "We are very excited to host the inspiring and influential David Puttnam at our SPADA conference at a time when our screen industry is at a cross roads. Lord Puttnam's presence and views could be just the catalyst we need to transform thinking here, as we debate the future of public broadcasting, commitment to and production of local content and in implementing change following the release of the Government's Review of the New Zealand Film Commission.

Lord Puttnam has made a huge contribution to the film and television industries and the breadth of his experience across other fields such as education, science, the environment and the wider arts mean that his views will be widely sought."

Lord Puttnam's body of work as a film producer includes Palme d'Or winner The Mission and the iconic Chariots of Fire, for which he received the best picture Oscar in 1981. He also produced the acclaimed The Killing Fields and Bugsy Malone, Local Hero, Midnight Express and The Memphis Belle. He was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship for Lifetime Achievement in 2006, is Deputy Chairman of Channel Four and the Chairman of Futurelab.

Since his appointment to the House of Lords in 1997, his focus has been on political and policy work in relation to education, the creative industries and climate change. In 2009 Lord Puttnam produced, We are the People We've Been Waiting For, a thought-provoking documentary about the contemporary education system.

He was founding chair of the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts and in 2005 chaired the Hansard Society Commission on the Communication of Parliamentary Democracy, the final report of which urged all political parties to commit to renewal of parliamentary life in an attempt to reinvigorate representative democracy. Lord Puttnam chaired the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Draft Climate Change Bill and is a trustee of the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Also speaking at the SPADA Conference is Danny Perkins, CEO of Optimum Releasing, one of the UK's leading independent film and DVD distributors, whose highlights include the release of The Wrestler, Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Fahrenheit 9/11, Pan's Labyrinth, The Hurt Locker and In The Loop. Perkins joined Optimum at its inception in 1999, having previously been a marketing executive at The Feature Film Company, responsible for the theatrical and video release of Oscar nominee Ulee's Gold and the re-issue of the classic It's a Wonderful Life.

Known for its innovative marketing, Optimum grew quickly and in 2006 was bought by StudioCanal, the film production and sales distribution arm of French media group Canal+. Optimum currently has a production slate which includes Rowan Joffe's Brighton Rock and Joe Cornish's Attack the Block (both in post-production) and Nick Murphy's The Awakening, now shooting.

Named one of Digital TV Europe magazine's Top 50 media executives for 2009, ex-pat Kiwi John Taite (son of the late Dylan Taite) returns from New York, where he is Vice-President of Multiplatform Programming for BBC America, responsible for developing BBC Worldwide's editorial strategy on branded digital platforms, future genre channel launches and other programming initiatives. Previously he was BBC Worldwide's VP of Programming for Europe, Middle East and Africa, launching 12 channels in 12 months. After graduating at AUT in 1993, Taite worked in programming and news reporting at TV3. He then went to London where he worked in a variety of roles at MTV before moving to programming at BBC Worldwide.

Tait Brady will also participate at the Conference, after delivering a two-day intensive workshop leading up to the conference (09-10 November) "Demystifying Distribution, Exhibition and International Sales" for filmmakers. Brady's background spans film distribution, international film festivals, film development, international film sales, exhibition, marketing and film funding. As General Manager of Palace Films, he distributed many Australian films including Lantana, Chopper, Head On and Japanese Story. He was director of the Melbourne International Film Festival and Feature Film Evaluation Manager at the FFC. He is now an independent consultant and script assessor and is developing his own projects for his company, The Acme Film Company.

The SPADA Industry Awards will be presented at the Conference: SPADA New Filmmaker of the Year, the SPADA Independent Producer of the Year, and the SPADA/Onfilm Industry Champion. Principal Sponsor NZ Film Commission, Key Sponsors/Sponsors include Screenrights, Auckland City Council, TVNZ, TV3, NZ On Air, South Pacific Pictures, Stage and Screen, Voyage Affaires: and SPADA's Premiere Partner Telecom.

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