In her work as a documentary filmmaker and film editor, Kate Purdie focuses on finding and portraying insights into the human experience by delving into lives and ideas that speak to themes of work, family, and community.
A filmmaker and film editor, Purdie is currently at work on a project following a small public school in Vermont as the community navigates new educational guidelines imposed on them by the state legislature. The project looks at community involvement as well as educational goals and funding mechanisms. Other recent self-initiated films have profiled a third-generation family dairy farm as it embraces organic practices; artists—their work and lives; and a video installation on travel through first and third worlds. Besides these independent productions, her production company collaborates with and produces films for many nonprofit organizations whose missions include supporting youth in adversity, income diversity, the arts, and infant literacy. Clients include Dartmouth College’s Hopkins Center, Bellevue Hospital in New York City, and the Read to Me program.
Purdie has edited for the Children’s Television Workshop and PBS documentary producers Robert Drew and Bill Moyers. For five years she was a staff editor at 60 Minutes and produced a piece for that program on Malcolm X. She has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and Marlboro College. She studied with cinema verite pioneer Richard Leacock for her MS of Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Purdie taught at Bennington from 2003 to 2020.