Film lovers are in for a treat with a special screening of an Oscar-winning film followed by the chance to quiz one of its stars and a former Hollywood producer.

To coincide with the centenary of the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris, the Fire Station in Sunderland will be screening Chariots of Fire, attended by the film’s producer Lord David Puttnam and actor Nigel Havers.

The 1924 Olympics were the setting of the film, which won four Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and also three BAFTAs, including Best Film. Made in 1981, Chariots of Fire is often cited as one of the best examples of British film-making.

The movie will be screened at the venue today (Wednesday, March 20), followed by a question and answer session with Lord Puttnam and Nigel, both of whom will discuss their memories of making the film and why they think its popularity endures 40 years later.

The Northern Echo: Lord David Puttnam and Nigel Havers are to appear in Sunderland for a special screening of Chariots of FireLord David Puttnam and Nigel Havers are to appear in Sunderland for a special screening of Chariots of Fire (Image: SUNDERLAND CULTURE)

After the success of Chariots of Fire, Lord Puttnam went on to produce a string of hit films, including Local Hero, The Killing Fields, Memphis Belle and Meeting Venus. For a time he was Chair and CEO of Columbia Pictures and knows Wearside well having spent ten years as Chancellor of the University of Sunderland between 1997 and 2007.

Nigel Havers played Lord Andrew Lindsay in Chariots of Fire, a role which earned him a BAFTA nomination. By the time he appeared in the film, he was already a familiar face on UK TV screens, having starred in the BBC sitcom Don’t Wait Up.

He went on to star in other major Hollywood films, including Empire of the Sun and A Passage to India. Meanwhile, he has continued to be a stalwart of the stage and small screen, even becoming a Coronation Street regular.

He appeared in the 2010 series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! and in 2011 was a guest star in the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey.

In 2012, Nigel presented an ITV documentary, The Real Chariots of Fire, a film about the real-life runners who inspired the film.

Tamsin Austin, venue director at The Fire Station, said: “We’re privileged to be hosting such a special evening.

Most read:

Special Offer Alert! Join The Northern Echo today and stay ahead with local news that matters. Enjoy our digital subscription at £4 for four months or get 40 per cent off for a year.

"Lord Puttnam is a towering figure in the film industry and has been a champion for Sunderland for many years. Nigel Havers is one of the most recognisable British actors with a hugely successful career in film, TV and on stage.

“Reuniting them on stage in Sunderland will be a very special moment – and audience members will also get to enjoy one of the best British movies ever made, a real masterpiece of film-making.”

Tickets for the evening are £25, with all profits going to The Film and Television Charity. For more information, or to book tickets, go to