Oscar-winning producer and former studio chief David Puttnam, arguably the biggest name at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, will head the Jury of Juries for the organization’s 10th anniversary. The U.K. Parliament member has strong ties to Asia via his film work and in his role as a trade envoy for the British government.
It will also be his second stint on the APSA’s jury — he served as president for the 2010 jury, which bestowed best feature honors on “Aftershock.” This year, the APSA brought back a group of former jury presidents for the jury, with Puttnam in top role.
While his name is synonymous with the very British Oscar winner “Chariots of Fire” (1981), which scooped up four golden statuettes including best picture, Puttnam produced several films set in the region. These include Marcel Ophüls’ “The Memory of Justice” (1976), about war crimes in Vietnam and during World War II, and Alan Parker’s “Midnight Express” (1978), which was set in Turkey. Puttnam also produced Roland Joffé’s Cambodia-set “The Killing Fields” (1980) that won several Oscars. He would return to Cambodia as an executive producer on Fran Lambrick and Vanessa de Smet’s documentary “I Am Chut Wutty” (2015).
From 1986-88, Puttnam was the head of Columbia and one of the films that the studio released during his tenure was Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” (1987) that documented the life of the last monarch of China. He also produced “Local Hero” (1983) and “Cal” (1984).
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He was appointed to Parliament’s House of Lords in 1997, and in 2012 then-British Prime Minister David Cameron appointed Puttnam as the Prime Ministerial Trade Envoy to Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar. He also chairs Atticus Education, an online outfit based in Ireland.