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Research impact

Our approach to Impact in Film Studies dovetails with the wider College strategy to advance knowledge, learning, and understanding in the service of society. Within REF 2021, our department worked with the Department of Music and focused our impact activities on specific targeted audiences, with a particular emphasis on the enrichment of cultural life. This strategy was very successful, our research was ranked 4th institutionally in the UK. Below are sample case studies detailing some of the ways in which our research has had impact.

French Connections

This case study is devoted to the impact of Ginette Vincendeau's research, which has influenced cultural life through the creation of more critically-informed audiences for French cinema. It focuses on (i) how her research insights have reached a non-academic, cine-literate large audience through screening introductions and lectures (in particular at BFI Southbank) and through the media (Sight & Sound, BBC Radio, and DVD commentaries) and (ii) how this research has had formative effects on secondary education in the UK (A-level French students) and on other audiences through different forms of cultural production (theatre).

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Music and Film

This case study focuses on the impact that Richard Dyer's research on music, film, and culture has had in the area of cultural life and the presentation of cultural heritage. At the centre of this is his work on the composer Nino Rota, which relates in one direction to his work on the use of song in film and on the other to his work on lesbian and gay culture. This research has been the basis for collaborations with the BFI (leading to major screening seasons) and has led to impact activities elsewhere, both in the UK and internationally. Beneficiaries include cine-enthusiasts, those interested in musical and queer culture, and more generally the broader public which has become better informed about the significance of the subjects of Dyer's research.

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Spectatorship, Audiences and Film Criticism

This case study examines the impact of Catherine Wheatley's research into spectatorship, audiences, and critical contexts through engagement with the popular press and public-facing media institutions. It focuses on Wheatley's work with Sight & Sound, the monthly consumer magazine published by the British Film Institute, which reaches beyond academia to a cine-literate but non-specialist audience. Her research has influenced discussion and criticism of cinema for a large, interested cine-enthusiastic audience as well as contributing to broader public debate and cultural discussion of cinema through mass-media appearances. She has also judged a competition for budding female critics, encouraging more women to write thoughtfully on film, and nurturing a new generation of women critics through which her research has been able to influence the practice of film criticism more widely.

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Discover more about the Department of Film Studies



We maintain excellent links with both national and international partners



Our international partners include institutions in Berlin, New Zealand, Hong Kong and the US