Freedom to Play: Pros & Cons of Filmmaking as Research

Sheffield Documentary Festival, June 2018

A panel of filmmakers and academics explore the growing trend of straddling filmmaking and academic lives and discuss the pros and cons of making films as research. Academia can free film-makers from conventional narratives and forms, allowing for experiments in creative storytelling. But does their work impact in academia as traditional ‘research’ and what influence have their films in the broadcast industry?”


Filmmaking in the Academy 

A screening presented by the Filmmaking Research Network (FRN) – 60 minutes

The Elephant Theatre, Southbank University, MeCCSA Conference, January 2018

The following films were selected from the FRN register of films, a database of films produced within universities in the UK and Australia. A screening handout can be downloaded here.


Woman with an Editing Bench, 15’, 2016
Karen Pearlman, Macquarie University, Australia

Inspired by a true story, “Woman with an Editing Bench” pays homage to the creativity of Elizaveta Svilova – the unsung editor behind the 1929 documentary masterpiece “Man with a Movie Camera”. It uses her revolutionary editing techniques to reveal her thoughts and recuperate her legacy in the history of cinema.

Shock of the Muse, 9’, 2016
Inga Burrows, University of South Wales, UK

Finding her feet on day one as a naked life model, the young muse draws courage from her past training as a Girl Guide.

Muddskipping, 11’, 2016
Phoebe Hart and Joe Carter, Queensland University of Technology, Australia

Dance, music and film combine in the mangroves.

The Crossing, 14’, 2016/17
Shrepali Patel, Anglia Ruskin, UK

This emotionally heightened multi-screen installation investigates the exploitation of hope and the black market economy of human trafficking.

The Q, 7’, 2015
Leo Berkeley, Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), Australia

‘The Q’ is a short essay film about what we think about when we wait in lines.