Screen Skills Ireland, the skills development unit within Screen Ireland, is delighted to partner with Northern Ireland Screen, Future Screens NI and Atticus Education to offer eight individuals (four Northern Ireland residents and four Republic of Ireland residents) the opportunity to attend 6 two hour online masterclasses with Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam (MIDNIGHT EXPRESS, CHARIOTS OF FIRE, THE KILLING FIELDS).
The participants will also receive a special Scholarship from Atticus Education of €1,500 each, which they can use to further their career development. The scholarship bursaries are supported by Accenture in Ireland.
Speaking about the initiative, David Puttnam said, “This Atticus Education-Puttnam Scholars initiative with Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen is something about which I am truly excited. The series will provide participants with new ways of thinking about their careers, encouraging them to consider why the role of cinema may be ever more important during these unsettled days; days that may be filled with anxiety and change, but – with the right story to tell – also offer the possibility of renewal and hope.”
The eight participants are all up-and-coming writers, directors, or producers that have either made their first feature or television drama or are in the process of developing their first feature or television drama.
The four Northern Ireland participants were selected through a Future Screens NI initiative and the four Republic of Ireland participants were nominated by four Irish higher education institutions.
The eight participants are:
Mark McNally – Screenwriter selected by Future Screens NI
Grace Sweeney – Documentary Producer/Director selected by Future Screens NI
Kiran Archarya – Documentary Filmmaker selected by Future Screens NI
Janine Cobain – Producer selected by Future Screens NI
Simon Doyle – Producer nominated by IADT
David O’Sullivan – Producer/Director nominated by TU Dublin
Laura O’Shea – Actor/Writer/Director nominated by Limerick School of Art and Design
Sean Clancy – Director nominated by Galway Mayo Institute of Technology
The Atticus Education Puttnam Scholars masterclasses will be online and fully interactive. They are designed to enhance participants’ understanding of the creative process, and the cultural context within which the screen industries operate. Across the six masterclasses, David Puttnam will explore the following themes:
The Origin: Why does film matter?
The Power of Identity: How can film make the personal universal?
From Plot to Premiere: How a small idea can make its way to the screen, using the case-study of Local Hero.
The Evolution of Creativity: How to cultivate ideas and innovation on set
Music and Meaning: How do you know what you want your film to sound like?
Interpreting the Future: How ongoing changes across the screen industries have been accelerated by the global pandemic.
Commenting on the scheme, Désirée Finnegan, CEO of Screen Ireland said, “We are delighted to be collaborating with Northern Ireland Screen, on the exciting Atticus Education-Puttnam Scholars initiative, which provides a unique opportunity for emerging creative talent to learn from acclaimed and visionary Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam. This initiative is a great example of innovation in sectoral learning that is more relevant than ever in these times, as the masterclasses will all be online and fully interactive. We are very proud to support this programme and wish the participants every success as they develop their careers.
Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen, said; “We are delighted to be working with Screen Ireland on the Puttnam Scholars initiative which offers eight emerging filmmakers an exceptional opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business, David Puttnam. Opportunities like this are needed more than ever in the current climate. Access to an industry heavyweight like David is invaluable at this early stage of their careers. We wish all the participants every success.”