10th Dec, 2016

BAFTA nominee to receive honorary degree from Coventry University

Shaun Reynolds 19th Nov, 2015 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

A VISUAL effects supremo, whose Hollywood work has seen him nominated for an Oscar award, is as equally thrilled to receive an honorary degree from Coventry University.

Christopher Townsend, who has also been nominated for a BAFTA, will receive his accolade at Coventry Cathedral today (November 19).

Now a freelance visual effects supervisor, Christopher is working on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters.

His résumé includes Iron Man 3, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award at the 2014 Oscars, Pirates of the Caribbean and disaster movie The Day After Tomorrow.

Mr Townsend graduated from Coventry Polytechnic in 1988 with a degree in graphic design – the award is to be presented in recognition of his outstanding work within the film industry.

Speaking ahead of his award ceremony, Mr Townsend said that he is just as thrilled to be recommended for for his honorary degree as he was when it was announced he was nominated for an Oscar.

The nominee added: “I’ve had an amazing career in the film industry and am fortunate enough to have been nominated for both an Oscar and a BAFTA.

“Coventry University is where I set out on a journey that would eventually lead to Hollywood.

“The course I studied here was one of the early adopters of computer graphics, which of course play a big part in visual effects.

“I’m very happy to be returning to collect this award.”

Amongst the other honorary awardees are charity campaigners Simon Davies and David Burbidge OBE.

Mr Davies has worked tirelessly to promote change in specialist services for young people with cancer.

David Burbidge was the founding chairman of the Coventry Cathedral Development Trust, for which he was awarded his OBE.

John Latham, vice-chancellor of Coventry University, congratulated those receiving their awards and is delighted to be honouring the individuals.

He added: “Their commitment to their chosen disciplines and their contribution to society as a whole is worthy of praise and recognition.

“I hope that our own graduating students will take inspiration from our honorary graduates as they move on to the next stage of their lives.”