The Lord Puttnam Scholars 2023

10 Mar 2023

Six UCC students have been awarded the prestigious title of Puttnam Scholar. The Puttnam Scholarship programme offers UCC students from any discipline the opportunity to work with and learn from digital education pioneer Lord David Puttnam, Oscar-winning producer of films including Chariots of Fire, The Mission, The Killing Fields, and Midnight Express. This year’s scholars are final-year and postgraduate students in the fields of Nursing, Law, English and Film & Screen Media.

Under the tutelage of Lord Puttnam, the Scholars will work together to produce a short film which will screen at the Cork International Film Festival. Last year’s Scholars premiered their film, Hyphen, about a Nigerian boy in foster care in Ireland, to a sold-out Triskel Arts Centre in November 2022. Hyphen will also screen at the Fastnet Film Festival in Schull in May 2023.

Lord Puttnam commented “We have a fantastic bunch of Scholars this year and I can’t wait to begin working with them. This is an opportunity for me to share what I have learned from working in film, politics, climate activism and education. I’m really looking forward to seeing their responses to the creative challenge of coming together from different backgrounds to produce a film that will screen in a major international film festival.”

The Scholarship, anchored in the Department of Film & Screen Media, is now in its fifth year and previous scholars have had their work screened in festivals and on television. Dr Ciara Chambers, Head of the Department of Film & Screen Media, explained that “this is a career-changing opportunity for the successful scholars. The Scholarship provides a form of learning unlike any other. Lord Puttnam shows the Scholars how to embed creativity in whatever area they seek to pursue in life, and he also demonstrates how important it is to become committed lifelong learners. Careers now are more dynamic than they have ever been before and many of our graduates will change pathway several times, continuing to learn new skills along the way. Knowing how to learn effectively and to engage with education on a lifelong basis is crucial. Lord Puttnam is the embodiment of pioneering education, and his passion for tackling the most important issues facing the world today is truly inspiring.”

Meet the Scholars:

Department of Film and Screen Media

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O'Rahilly Building, University College Cork, Ireland