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Award winning Hollywood producer, Sam Mendes CBE will be joining David Miliband for the 2016 South Shields Lecture on May 7th 2016 at Harton Technology College, South Shields, NE34 6DL, which is being sponsored by the Port of Tyne.


Mendes will join David Miliband to speak about his career and answer questions from Mr Miliband and the audience. 

Mendes is best known for directing the films American Beauty (1999), which earned him the Academy Award and Golden Globe Award for Best Director, and the James Bond films Skyfall (2012) and Spectre (2015). 

Mendes is also known for his re-inventions of the stage musicals Cabaret (1994), Oliver (1994), Company (1996), Gypsy (2003) and he directed an original stage musical for the first time with Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2013).

In 1999 Mendes made his film directorial debut with American Beauty, starring Kevin Spacey. The film grossed $356.3 million worldwide. The film won the Golden Globe Award, the BAFTA Award and the Academy Award for Best Picture. Mendes won the Golden Globe Award, Director Guild of America Award and the Academy Award for Best Director, becoming the sixth director to earn the Academy Award for his feature film debut.

Mendes directed the 23rd and 24th instalments of the James Bond films;   Skyfall was released in October 2012 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bond films.  The film was a major success and took over $1 billion worldwide.  Mendes became the first filmmaker since John Glen to direct two Bond films in a row when he directed Spectre which was released in October 2015.

Mendes won Jupiter Best International Film and Empire Award for Best Director for Skyfall.

David Miliband said: "I'm delighted to be returning to South Shields, it's always great to be back in the town and I'm honoured that Sam Mendes will be joining me, he has an incredible story to tell - from the world of film and stage.  

"Sam has worked with some of the biggest names in the profession so will have lots to talk about.   The lecture will be a fantastic evening and I'm looking forward to Sam bringing a bit of Hollywood to Harton on May 7th."

Sir Ken Gibson, executive head-teacher of Harton Technology College, said: "We are absolutely delighted to be hosting the South Shields Annual Lecture for the eighth consecutive year. Previous speakers have been absolutely superb and it is always nice to welcome David Miliband back to Harton.

"I am sure that the evening will be a huge success and we look forward with great interest to meeting and hearing from Sam Mendes CBE. As a massive Bond fan myself, I am particularly interested in his role as director working on Skyfall and Spectre."

Andrew Moffat, Port of Tyne's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are delighted once again to sponsor an event that brings national attention and acclaim to South Tyneside. It is a great coup for the school to welcome the world class stage and film director Sam Mendes this year.  The Port of Tyne is committed to supporting activities like this that support arts, business and local communities.  The South Shields Lecture is inspiring for all of us, but most importantly for young people who can hear first-hand the stories of people who have gone on to achieve great things."

The South Shields Lecture was established by David Miliband when he was the towns MP; previous speakers have included Sting, Patrick Stewart, Alan Bennett, Tony Blair and David Walliams.

The lecture will start at 6.30pm. Tickets are free, but demand is expected to be high, so priority will be given to those with a South Shields postal address, starting with NE33 or NE34. Tickets are limited to two per a household.

Requests for tickets should be made by e-mail to, including your full address and contact telephone number.

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