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David Puttnam

Movies, politicians need moral purpose: Lord Puttnam

Movies, politicians need moral purpose: Lord Puttnam

09 October, 2014

David Puttnam with his son Sacha Puttnam, who accompanied him on his Australian trip. Photo: Michael CranfieldThe British producer of films such as Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields and The Mission said both filmmaking and politics shared a need for a greater moral purpose.

David Puttnam, honoured as Lord Puttnam since being made a Baron in 1997, spent 30 years bringing some of the world's most memorable stories to the screen.

He retired in 1998 to focus on his passion for education and the environment, working diligently in the UK's House of Lords.

The 73-year-old visited Brisbane this week to present a live lecture to Griffith University Students, capping off a year of guest lectures presented via sophisticated teleconferencing from his home in Ireland.

"I don't even try to teach them how to make movies, because the pace of technology makes that almost impossible," he said.

"I teach them why to make movies - what the moral purpose of movies can be, the way in which they can change lives."

After winning 10 Oscars, 25 BAFTAs and the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Lord Puttnam sensed a hesitance to the weighty subject matter and intense characterisation typical of his movies.