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Biography

Belén Vidal is Reader 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).

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

Research Interests 

  • History and memory in contemporary cinemas
  • The historical film genres, especially the biopic and the heritage film
  • Spanish film history, and contemporary cinema & media in Spain
  • Cinephilia and film cultures

Belén Vidal’s research focuses on the representation of history and memory in contemporary cinemas from aesthetic and political perspectives, with a comparative focus on Western Europe. Her work on the biopic looks at this genre through questions of historiography and screen performance.

Belén has extensively taught and published on Spanish cinema, particularly on new modes of cinema after the 2008 economic crisis.  She is working on a monograph on cinephilia and ephemeral film cultures in Spain. In 2019-2020 she was the recipient of a Leverhulme Research Fellowship for this project.

She currently co-leads the international research project AGE-C. Ageing and Gender in European Cinema, funded by VolkswagenStiftung (2023-2026). More information tbc.

She participated in the research networks:

‘Producing the Post-National Popular: The Expanding Imagination of Mainstream French Films and Television Series’ (AHRC international network). Member of steering committee. 

‘Cartografías del cine de movilidad en el Atlántico Hispánico’. Associated researcher.

PhD Supervision

Belén currently supervises PhD projects on cinephilia and the historical film, migration and inclusive screen cultures, performance and ageing in the heritage film, and masculinity and the war film. She is interested in supervising doctoral projects in the areas of:

  • history and memory in European cinema and television
  • historical film genres, particularly the biopic
  • Spanish cinema
  • theories and cultures of cinephilia.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Teaching

She teaches specialist courses on history and memory in film; the biopic; popular European cinemas in the mid-20th century; contemporary Spanish cinema; 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, In[Transition].

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.