The 2018 Fairway Galle Literary Festival is delighted to welcome producer and educator Lord David Puttnam.

FGLF 2018 Participant - Film Producer Lord David Puttnam

Lord David Puttnam is an acclaimed film producer whose movies including “The Killing Fields” “Midnight Express” “Memphis Belle”, “The Mission” and “Chariots of Fire” have won 10 Oscars, 25 Baftas and the Palm D’Or at Cannes.

In the summer of 1978, Lord Puttnam was flu-ridden and housebound in Los Angeles where he came across a book that would profoundly affect his career and have a lasting impact on the British film industry. The book was “An Approved History of the Olympic Games” by Bill Henry and the film was, Chariots of Fire (1981).


This is Puttnam’s inscribed copy of the book, held as part of the David Puttnam archive in BFI Special Collections:

The book which inspired the award winning film Chariots of Fire

“On page 116, the author writes of three sensational wins by British athletes’ at the 1924 Paris Olympic Games and it was the story of two of these – ‘long-legged collegian’ Harold Abrahams and ‘dark horse’ Eric Liddell, a religious man who refused to run on a Sunday – that eventually formed the basis (with some dramatic license) of Chariots of Fire.”David Puttnam.

David Puttnam has served numerous terms in civil service and public office, including as President of UNICEF UK (2002-2009) and International Ambassador to the WWF (2016).

He also serves as the Chair of Atticus Education, an online education company founded in 2012 that delivers audio-visual seminars to students all over the world.

He was received his knighthood in 1995 and retired from film production in 1998 to focus on his work in public policy as it relates to education, the environment, and the creative and communications industries.


Learn more about Lord David Puttnam