Film producer Lord Puttnam opens 'remarkable' Minghella Building
Release Date 14 May 2012
Oscar-winning film producer David Puttnam officially opened the Minghella Building, the University of Reading's new state of the art home for its Department of Film, Theatre & Television, on Thursday 10 May.
Lord Puttnam of Queensgate said the creation of the new £11 million building was a ‘remarkable achievement' and praised the efforts of all those who had helped guide the project to completion.
Earlier in the day Lord Puttnam, who produced the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire and The Killing Fields, toured the building's theatres, TV studio, editing rooms, sound recording suites and teaching facilities, along with relatives of the late Anthony Minghella, after whom the building is named. He also conducted a master class for current students, drawing on his experiences from his career in the arts.
At the event to officially name the building, Lord Puttnam recalled his memories of Anthony Minghella, who died in 2008, who he described as a polymath and a ‘very special person' who made a crucial contribution to British film, TV and theatre.
"I sincerely hope that the work that goes on here for many years will reflect the spirit of Anthony Minghella," he said.
Anthony Minghella's mother, Gloria, said: "This beautiful place shows just what he meant to you all, and this is a reflection of what the University of Reading meant to Anthony.
"Nothing would have pleased him more, or us his family, to know the many who come through these doors have been inspired by this very ordinary young man from a very ordinary family. But with the right encouragement and enterprise, he reached for the stars, and so can you, the students - they will be well within your grasp."
Two former students of the Department of Film, Theatre & Television, Emma Ramsden and Ameenah Ayub, both spoke warmly of their memories of studying in Reading and how their experiences helped them to begin successful careers as a drama therapist and film producer, respectively.
Guests, who included current and former students, staff and supporters, including Chancellor Sir John Madejski, heard from the Head of the School of Arts and Communication Design, Professor Jonathan Bignell, about the work of the Department and the connections between Anthony Minghella and the University of Reading.
Professor Bignell said: "The Department of Film, Theatre & Television has for many years been at the forefront of teaching and research into the arts on stage and screen.
"We're delighted that our wonderful new facilities bear the name of Anthony Minghella, whose remarkable career spanning academia, film, television and theatre is reflected in our firm commitment to explore the interactions within and between them."
The University's Vice-Chancellor, Sir David Bell, said: "For many years, the Department of Film, Theatre & Television has been something of a hidden treasure at the University. Since arriving with a burst of colour and energy onto the main Whiteknights site their presence has made a remarkable impact."
For more information, please contact Pete Castle at the University of Reading press office on 0118 378 7391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Notes to editors
Anthony Minghella (1954-2008) was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Reading in 2006 and was a patron of the Beckett International Foundation at the University. An award-winning playwright, screenwriter and director, he is best known for directing The English Patient, for which he won an Academy Award, The Talented Mr. Ripley, and Cold Mountain.
The Department of Film, Theatre & Television is a dynamic and creative department which has been leading its field for over four decades. It pioneered the teaching of film studies in British Higher Education, and has an established world-leading reputation.
In the last research assessment (2008), 90% of its research was scored as being of world-leading or internationally-excellent quality. Its strong research environment enables it to deliver one of the most exciting, innovative and unique courses on offer in the UK.