Multi Emmy and BAFTA winning documentary-film producer and director, and Canterbury Christ Church University alumna, Kate Blewett, has been recognised as one of the UK’s greatest creative hits, alongside award-winning children’s authors, and global rockstars.

She has been nominated as one of more than 100 “Creative Sparks” from UK universities who are being honoured to showcase the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the immense contribution of UK universities to the sector.

Kate’s documentaries focus on social and human rights issues and have had international impact, bringing about great awareness and social transformation. Her powerful 1995 film, The Dying Rooms, highlighted the conditions within Chinese orphanages. The documentary took two years to make as Kate and her colleague, Brian Woods, filmed undercover in very difficult conditions. It has been televised in 26 countries and has made a strong international impact. It received numerous awards including an American Emmy, the Peabody Award and the Royal Television Society Award for International Current Affairs.

The nomination comes as new research conducted by Savanta ComRes for Universities UK shows that UK parents are strongly in favour of university creative courses, with more than two thirds (69 per cent) saying that creative courses are vital for powering the UK’s creative industries and nearly two thirds (65 per cent) saying that they benefit the UK economy.

Honorary Fellow Kate Blewett
Honorary Fellow Kate Blewett

But there are fears that this contribution could now be under threat, with two thirds (67 per cent) of UK parents acknowledging that creative industries have suffered greatly as a result of the pandemic.

In response, Universities UK has launched the Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni campaign to showcase the creativity found at UK universities like Canterbury Christ Church and to encourage the government to promote and support the importance of creativity and creative courses.

Alistair Jarvis CBE, Chief Executive, Universities UK said: “Universities are places where creative ideas flourish, where innovation happens, and where businesses employing thousands of people are started. They’re where the nation’s creative sparks are ignited.”

Other Creative Sparks include:=

  • Greg Davies – Brunel University alumni, comedian and actor
  • Keith Chapman – Norwich University of the Arts alumni, creator of Bob the Builder and PAW Patrol
  • Cressida Cowell MBE – University of Brighton alumni, author of How to Train Your Dragon
  • Laura Mvula – Birmingham City University alumni, musician
  • Roger Waters and Nick Mason, Pink Floyd – University of Westminster alumni, musicians
  • Ruth Wilson – University of Nottingham alumni, actress best known for The Affair, Luther, His Dark Materials, and Mrs Wilson
  • Nish Kumar – Durham University alumni, comedian and presenter
  • Krysty Wilson-Cairns – Royal Conservatoire of Scotland alumni, co-writer of BAFTA winning movie 1917
  • Lisa McGee – Queens University Belfast alumni, screenwriter of Derry Girls
  • Steven Knight – UCL alumni, writer and creator of BBC Two’s Peaky Blinders

You can find out more about the UK’s Creative Sparks here. You can also follow the campaign on the #MadeatUni Twitter and Facebook. You can even play the online game to see which “Creative Spark” you are here.

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