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Saturday 17 January 2009 morning ceremony
Don Boyd (DLitt)
Don Boyd, Scottish film director, producer and screenwriter was born in 1948 in Scotland. He is a visiting Professor in Film Studies at the University of Exeter and a Governor of the London Film School.
Boyd was brought up by his Scottish father and Russian mother in Hongkong, Uganda and Kenya and educated at Loretto School in Musselburgh, East Lothian. He graduated at the London Film School in 1970 and began his career working for the BBC television series Tomorrow's World. After two years directing commercial for the likes of Coca Cola, Shell and Chrysler, he directed his first feature film, Intimate Reflections which premiered at the London Film Festival in 1974. This was followed by East of Elephant Rock which starred John Hurt, which also premiered at the London Film Festival.
In 1977 Boyd established his own production company, Boyd's Co, which over the next decade produced a series of successful British films including Alan Clarke's Scum, Derek Jarman's The Tempest, Lindsay Anderson's Look Back In Anger, Julien Temple's The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle, and Boyd's own multi directorial opera film Aria which featured work by Robert Altman, Nicolas Roeg, Jean-Luc Godard, Ken Russell and Derek Jarman. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1987. During this time his company featured the work of many actors, writers, directors, producers, cinematographers who now have successful international careers including John Hurt, Ray Winstone, Dame Helen Mirren, Tilda Swinton, Stephen Fry, Michael Tolkin, producers Jeremy Thomas and Sarah Radclyffe, Bridget Fonda, Kathy Burke, The Edge, and The Sex Pistols. In 1982 the National Film Theatre presented a season of his work culminating in a Guardian Lecture with the film critic Derek Malcolm.
After producing Derek Jarman's War Requiem, for the BBC in 1988, which was Sir Laurence Olivier's last film, Boyd returned to his directorial career. He directed low budget independent feature films such as Twenty One which was written by Zoe Heller, Kleptomania, Lucia and My Kingdom, which starred Richard Harris in his last leading role as a modern day King Lear, and directed over twenty television documentaries including a BAFTA and Prix Italia nominated film featuring the comedienne Ruby Wax in a documentary about Imelda Marcos and also Andrew and Jeremy Get Married, a documentary film portrait of two gay men, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2004 and was broadcast on the BBC.
In 2006 in his role as the guest editor of the Director's Guild of Great Britain annual magazine Direct, he persuaded 22 distinguished film-makers including Stephen Frears, Hanif Kureishi, Terence Davies and Charles Dance to contribute articles and interviews to help consolidate the profile and public status of the unique pool of directorial talent in the United Kingdom (UK). His range of work has included films involving Margaret Thatcher, Desmond Tutu, Lord Foster and other prominent international figures as much as it features obscure experimentalists.
Boyd conducted two ‘in conversation’ master classes at The London Film School with the legendary director Nicolas Roeg (Don’t Look Now, Performance, The Man Who Fell To Earth), and the young first time director Sarah Gavron (Brick Lane).
He is currently working on the script of a new feature film he will direct called Beatrice’s Father, produced by Scottish film-maker Eddie Dick and funded by the UK Film Council. Boyd writes regularly for The Observer, The Guardian and Time Out. He has just completed his first novel, Margot’s Secrets, a psychological thriller set in contemporary Barcelona.
The University of Exeter, The Queen’s Drive, Exeter, Devon, UK EX4 4QJ
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