2016 – Sam Mendes, CBE


7th May 2016

The 2016 event was David Miliband’s fourteenth South Shields Annual Lecture and the eighth consecutive year that it has been hosted at Harton Technology College.

This year we were delighted to welcome Sam Mendes CBE, the world-renowned stage and film director. Sam is best known for directing the comedy-drama film American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director, the crime film Road to Perdition (2002), and the James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015).

David Miliband was in particularly fine form and looked extremely happy and comfortable to be back in South Shields. He questioned Sam for almost an hour, with his usual calm and expertise, about Sam’s career, whilst clips from American Beauty, Road to Perdition, Skyfall and Spectre were shared with the audience.  Sam gave us an incredible insight into the complexities of directing such films and the audience were captivated and fascinated by his every word.

Sam Mendes had earlier spoken to 6th Form Media Students, who were studying Skyfall, and gave them some very detailed help and facts about the film.  In addition, he took part in a refreshingly honest and humorous interview with one of our students, Ollie Burgin-Plews, for the school’s website.

Sam was, without doubt, one of the most charming and personable guests we have ever had in school and it was an absolute privilege and honour to meet him and to hear his stories. A number of guests commented that this had been their favourite lecture of them all and I was in total agreement.

We rounded off a fabulous evening with the usual extraordinary ‘fish and chips’ at Colmans Restaurant.

Sir Ken Gibson – Executive Head Teacher

Video interview with Sam Mendes, CBE.

Below are some photos from the evening.