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David Puttnam spent thirty years as an independent producer of award-winning films including The Mission, The Killing Fields, Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, Midnight Express, Bugsy Malone and Memphis Belle. His films have won ten Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palme D'Or at Cannes. He was chairman and chief executive officer of Columbia Pictures from 1986-1988. He then returned to the UK and produced films including The War of the Buttons and My Life So Far.

From 1994 to 2004 he was Vice President and Chair of Trustees at the British Academy of Film & Television Arts (BAFTA) and was awarded a BAFTA Fellowship in 2006. He was Chairman of the National Film and Television School from 1987-1996. He retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy but retains a strong and active interest in national and global policy for film and the wider creative and communications industries. His book on the history of the film industry, The Undeclared War – The Struggle for Control of the World’s Film Industry (published as Movies and Money in North America) was published in 1997. He is President of the Film Distributors’ Association.

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The book that inspired Chariots of Fire

Read about Lord Puttnam’s inscribed copy of the book "An Approved History of the Olympic Games" by Bill Henry. This is the book that inspired "Chariots of Fire". This led to nominations for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.

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