Past Events

PhD Toolkit: Research-led Filmmaking Workshop

DRN Events – Estrella Sendra Fernandez, Lily Ford

  • 21 November 2022
  • 6:00 – 7:00 pm
  • Online

This is an event for DRN members only. You can find out more about the network here.

This term's PhD Toolkit Series will be focused on exploring innovative research methodologies, such as filmmaking techniques applied to text-based scholarships, and on analysing the ethical implications of academic practice. This series of workshops will provide a space for DRN members to reflect on how the topics addressed by the speakers might be relevant to their own work. Furthermore, network members will be encouraged to consider how these methodologies might open up expanded possibilities in research in terms of public engagement, formats that a PhD project can adopt beyond the text-based dissertation and social justice issues.

The aim of this workshop is to explore the potentialities that filmmaking offers to academic research and to introduce the film or video essay as an alternative (or a complement) to text-based scholarship in humanities.

Usually associated with film criticism, audio-visual essays are increasingly being adopted as a medium for exploring and communicating research in a wide array of academic fields. The capability of filmmaking as a tool to reach a wider audience also opens new possibilities for public engagement outside academia. The ready availability of enhanced technologies has made creating and producing an audio-visual piece easier than ever and no previous film practice is required.

The invited speakers will discuss how to convey research through film and how filmmaking enhances the exploration in the context of their field of work.

About the speakers

  • 1. Estrella CROPPED

    Dr Estrella Sendra Fernandez is a researcher, filmmaker, video-essayist and festival organiser, working as Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries Education (Festivals and Events) at King’s College London. Estrella has published on festivals, film, creative industries in Africa and video essays. She is the co-principal investigator of the “Decolonizing Film Festival Research in a Post-Pandemic World”, New Frontiers in Research Fund. In 2018, she completed her doctoral thesis from SOAS, University of London, on contemporary festivals in Senegal. Her debut documentary film Témoignages de l’autre côté / Testimonials from the Other Side (2011) was awarded the national European Charlemagne Youth Prize in Spain (2012). She is Associate Editor in Screenworks, the peer-reviewed online publication of practice research in screen media, and the co-author of the Introductory Guide to Video Essays (2020) and author of Video Essays: Curating and Transforming Film Education through Artistic Research (2020). She is an Editorial Board member in the Journal of African Media Studies, an Advisory Board member of “Screen” the ERC-funded research project ”Screen Worlds: Decolonising Film and Screen Studies” and Film Africa in London.

  • Lily Ford is a filmmaker and historian based in London. Her PhD was on the history of flight in the 1920s; her book Taking to the Air: An Illustrated History of Flight was published by the British Library in 2018. Her current interest is in the women behind the scenes of aviation in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century and she has made two research films in this area, Aerial Bodies (2022) and Dear Ella (2020). As a filmmaker, she has worked with academics and artists to make several films including Chasing the Revolution: Marie Langer, Psychoanalysis and Society (2021) and A Humbrol Art: The Paintings of George Shaw (2018). She produced the feature-length documentary The Seasons in Quincy: Four Portraits of John Berger (2016) which premiered at the Berlinale Film Festival. Most films are available to watch at