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Belén Vidal is Senior Lecturer in Film Studies. She is the author of Figuring the Past: Period Film and the Mannerist Aesthetic (Amsterdam University Press, 2012) and Heritage Film. Nation, Genre and Representation (Columbia University Press/Wallflower Press, 2012). She is the co-editor of The Biopic in Contemporary Film Culture (AFI Film Readers, Routledge 2014) and of Cinema at the Periphery (Wayne State University Press, 2010).

In 2019-20, she is the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for her project on cinephilia and film historiography in Spanish cinema.

She holds a PhD in Film Studies from Glasgow University, an MA from Georgetown University and a BA (Honors) from University of Valencia, Spain. Before joining King’s in 2008, she was Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of St Andrews.

Research Interests and PhD Supervision

  • History and memory in contemporary cinemas
  • The historical film genres, especially the biopic, the costume film and the heritage-film debates in British and European cinemas.
  • Spanish cinema, both contemporary and topics in film history
  • Cinephilia and film cultures

Belén Vidal’s research focuses on the period film in contemporary cinemas from the perspective of its aesthetic, narrative and political import in the study of national and transnational cinemas in Western Europe. Her work on the biopic looks at this genre as a mode of historiography through questions of subjectivity, identity and screen performance.

Belén has also extensively taught and published on contemporary Spanish cinema, particularly on new modes of cinema after the 2008 economic crisis. She is currently writing a book on cinephilia and ephemeral film cultures in Spain from the 1940s up to the post-crisis moment.

Belén is interested in supervising doctoral projects in the following areas: history and memory in European cinema and television (particularly the biopic); Spanish cinema; theories of cinephilia.

For more details, please see her full research profile.


She teaches specialist courses on History and Memory in Film, The Biopic, Contemporary Spanish Cinema and the French New Wave at graduate and undergraduate level. 

Expertise and Public Engagement

Collaborations with the BFI Southbank 

Editorial Board, Necsus. European Journal of Media Studies.

Editorial Advisory Board, Screen

Peer reviewer for journals such as Film Quarterly, Journal of British Cinema and Television, Studies in European Cinema, Hispanic Research Journal, Tecmerín: Revista de Ensayos Audiovisuales.

Dr Vidal has commented on the uses of history and memory in popular media for international media outlets such as the BBC or The Guardian. She also collaborates with the academic blog Mediático on Spanish and Latin American media topics.