5 December 2023 The Irish Film & Television Network

Irish Film and Television Network




Training News

Atticus Education, Screen Ireland and Northern Ireland Screen announce Puttnam Scholars 2023
22 Jun 2023 : News Desk
David Puttnam
Eight filmmakers will partake in this year’s Puttnam Scholars programme.

Now in its fourth year, the Puttnam Scholars programme is a cross-border initiative that offers emerging filmmakers (four Republic of Ireland residents and four Northern Ireland residents) six interactive online masterclass seminars with Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam (Local Hero, Chariots of Fire, The Killing Fields). In addition to the tuition, each participant receives a €1,000 bursary towards their career development, sponsored by David Puttnam.

The masterclass sessions encourage filmmakers to contemplate their creative choices and to interrogate the reasons why film remains such an important medium. David Puttnam will ask participants to consider how national and personal identity informs their filmmaking, while also helping them to better understand the commercial aspects of what they do, and highlighting the importance of creative leadership to the island’s film sector.

The programme has previously included guests such as Ralph Fiennes, Lenny Abrahamson, Paul Greengrass and Rachel Portman, each of whom has offered advice to the participating scholars.

“This programme is always one of the highlights of my year,” said David Puttnam. “It gives me the chance to get to know an emerging generation of filmmakers and to have honest conversations with them about what their films can, and should, do. 

“This year has been an exceptional one for the industry across the island of Ireland and the calibre of the scholars selected for the 2023 programme highlights how ambitious we should be about our screen sector’s future.”

Lia Campbell, a 2022 Puttnam Scholar selected by Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology said of her experience: “Taking part in the Puttnam programme gave me the time to reflect on my own responsibility as a filmmaker in the stories and characters I choose to tell and portray. It strengthened my trust in my personal instincts and the emphasis on collaboration with the other filmmakers was very inspiring. The network I created through this programme is something I'm excited to bring with me as I move forward in my career.”

Participants are chosen by Northern Ireland Screen and four Irish higher education institutions respectively. This year the participants come from backgrounds that include acting, writing, producing and directing:

  • Kevin Fitzpatrick – Writer selected by Northern Ireland Screen
  • Órfhlaith Ní Chearnaigh – Producer selected by Northern Ireland Screen
  • Tara O’Neill – Writer selected by Northern Ireland Screen
  • Tony Devlin - Writer/Director selected by Northern Ireland Screen
  • Maureen O’Connell – Actor/Writer/Director/Producer selected by Technological University Dublin
  • Melissa Collins – Producer selected by Technological University of the Shannon
  • Samantha Corr – Producer selected by Dundalk Institute of Technology
  • Naomi Sheridan – Writer selected by Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology

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