Title: Honorary Graduate Profiles

Delivery: 2 profile films

Talent: Creative, pre-production, direction, production, post-production

What was the brief?

During the University of Northampton’s 2016 summer graduation ceremonies, two carefully selected Honorands received honorary degrees. These awardees were Polar explorer Ben Saunders and leather industry expert Christine Powley-Williams.

The university asked Maia Films to produce profile piece video productions featuring Ben and Christine, talking about their life, work and connection to the university. The films were to be shown at the ceremonies ahead of their speech to the graduating audience.

How did we approach the brief?

We told the story of Ben’s career as a polar explorer, which led him to embark on Captain Scott’s unsuccessful attempt to get to the South Pole and back. We focused on the training and research involved prior to the expedition, and the physical and mental hardships that ensued. Filmed at Ben’s west London home and coupled with some stunning footage given to us by Temujin Doran of Ben’s journey, we produced a film that brings his passions to life and gets to the heart of the determination and resilience needed to undergo such a journey.

For Christine Powley-Williams’ film we explored the progression of her career from working in the Australian leather industry through to her role as Assistant Director at SATRA. With Northampton’s prestigious Leather Technology courses, this was an honorary partnership that seemed particularly fitting. We filmed with Christine among the university’s leather technology facilities and introduced her to young students who are looking to follow in her footsteps.

To help bring the films to life we made use of sound design and creative filming techniques to really engage the graduation audience and help tell the honourands’ stories.


The films were extremely well received at the graduation ceremony and we have since been commissioned to produce a new cinema ad for the university which is due for release next year.