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Dr Estrella  Sendra Fernandez

Dr Estrella Sendra Fernandez

  • Academics

Lecturer in Culture, Media and Creative Industries Education (Festivals and Events)

GTA Deputy Lead (Term 1); GTA Lead (Term 2).

Contact details


Estrella joined CMCI at King's in 2022, having previously worked at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton and SOAS, University of London, where she was awarded the SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize for Inspirational Teaching (2020).

Since 2011, when she directed Témoignages de l’autre côté, an awarded documentary about migration, she has been developing a regional expertise in Senegal.

Estrella has a MA in Critical Media and Cultural Studies and completed her doctoral thesis from SOAS in 2018, entitled ‘Two-tier festivals in Senegal between the local and the international: A Case Study of the Festival International de Folklore et de Percussion in Louga (Senegal).’

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. She is Associate Editor in Screenworks, co-author of the ‘Introductory Guide to Video Essays’ 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.

Research interests

  • Festivals
  • Film, media and creative Industries in Africa
  • Education Innovation
  • Video essays and practice research

Estrella's research focuses on cultural festivals, with particular interest in African film festivals in Africa and outside of Africa, cultural festivals in Senegal and the Global South more broadly. As a filmmaker, journalist and festival worker, she is particularly interested in practice research, namely the video essay.

Estrella welcomes PhD students interested in education innovation.

Selected publications

  • Sendra, Estrella and Keyti (2022). ‘Use of Senegalese Music to Raise Coronavirus Awareness on Social Media’. In Journal of African Media Studies, Special Double Issue ‘Media and the Corona Pandemic in Africa’, 14(1): 81-94.
  • Sendra, Estrella (2021). ‘Saint-Louis Blues: From Oral Storytelling to Aural Filmmaking.’ In Shearer, Martha, & Lobalzo Wright, Julie (eds.) (2021). Musicals at the Margins: Genre, Boundaries, Canons. London: Bloomsbury: 55-70.
  • Feal, Laura and Sendra, Estrella (2021). ‘Nearby the Festival International du Film Documentaire de Saint-Louis: Rethinking Proximity in Times of COVID-19.’ In NECSUS: European Journal of Media Studies, Spring 2021. 
  • Sendra, Estrella (2021). ‘Banlieue Films Festival (BFF): Growing Cinephilia and Filmmaking in Senegal.’ In aniki: Portuguese Journal of the Moving Image, 8(1), Special Issue: Film festivals and their socio-cultural contexts: 245-272. 
  • Sendra, Estrella (2020). ‘Video Essays: Curating and Transforming Film Education through Artistic Research’. In Damásio, M. J. & Mistry, J. (eds.) (2020) International Journal of Film and Media Arts GEECT, Special Issue Mapping Artistic Research in Film, 5(2): 65-81. 


Estrella teaches across modules on the BA and MA programmes in CMCI on topics related to festivals, creative industries and cultural ecosystems. 

2020 - SOAS Director’s Teaching Prize for Inspirational Teaching

2019 - Awarded a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA)

2018 - Associate an Associate Fellow of The Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Expertise and public engagement

Estrella has spoken at conferences, festivals and media platforms and events across the globe, particularly collaborating with African film festivals in Senegal, the UK and Spain. 

Among her recent public engagement, there is: 

  • 27/03/22 Fad’Jal: Other Modernisms, Other Futures. Barbican, London
  • UK26/03/22 Sarah Maldoror: Between Tigritude and Surrealism. Tate Modern, London
  • UK2/03/22 Co-hosting of ‘La Voix de Réalisatrices Sénégalaises [Decolonising Film with Senegalese Women Filmmakers] during the Festival Films Femmes Afrique in Dakar (Senegal), in collaboration with Screen Worlds. 
  • 20/01/22 Touki Bouki. BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking. Available online.

For detailed information about this, please visit her personal website.