Honorary degree for Welwyn Garden City-born filmmaker

A WELWYN Garden City-born multi-award winning director is to be given an honorary degree by Manchester Metropolitan University.

Filmmaker Mike Leigh will become a Doctor of Arts at the graduation ceremony for the uni’s department of contemporary arts, next month.

Mr Leigh, who was raised in Salford, is known for his films including Vera Drake, Life is Sweet and Topsy Turvy.

He started his career in the theatre, including periods at the Midlands Art Centre in Birmingham and the RSC, before making his first feature film, Bleak Moments, in 1971.

He went on to win the best director award at Cannes for Naked in 1993 and the Palme d’Or in 1996 for Secrets & Lies.

University dean Dennis Dunn said: “He is rightly internationally acclaimed as writer and director of film and theatre.

“His body of work both captivates and inspires our contemporary arts graduates, indeed some of his earlier work has traversed the decades and remains as relevant and contextual today, as it was when he created it.”