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The Moving Image Research Centre (MIRC)

The Moving Image Research Centre is a flagship research and production centre within UEL’s School of Arts and Digital Industries. The centre is a platform for developing, presenting and discussing the work of UK-based artists, filmmakers, scholars and organisations working with the moving image and is home to state of the art production facilities. Operating in parallel with the university’s BA, MA and PhD programmes in film and video, the centre offers a unique context for inter-disciplinary research, as well as artist residencies, a guest lecture series and a calendar of invited screenings.

Filmaking students

About us

The Moving Image Research Centre (MIRC) is as a hub for filmmakers and researchers working with the moving image. It provides a vibrant context for research, filmmaking and debate. MIRC’s black box studio and satellite pre/post-production spaces offer highly active production environments, including a unique multi-screen platform. 

MIRC’s annual calendar of events, on and off UEL’s Docklands campus, include symposia, screenings, guest lectures by visiting filmmakers and scholars, and work-in-progress workshops with London-based moving image artists.

MIRC offers an annual residency to mid-career moving image artists and filmmakers, and access to the Moving Image Studio (MIS), editing suites and shooting equipment, including 16mm equipment and processing.

The studio is also a home for postgraduate research and teaching. Along with BA, MA, Professional Doctorate and PhD students, academics use the space for workshops, lectures, film planning, rehearsals, shooting, installation, test screenings and discussions.

We have an extensive network and a wide range of partner organisations including: Whitechapel Gallery, Close-Up Film Centre, BFI London Film Festival,, Film and Video Umbrella, Film London, London Short Film Festival, East End Film Festival, the annual Visible Evidence conference, the Institute of Asian and Transcultural Studies (Vilnius) and the Centre for Social Science Research (Dhaka).

There are currently six sponsored PhD candidates attached to the centre, and about twenty in-house scholars and filmmakers. Their interdisciplinary research projects combine both theory and practice, and incorporate a diverse range of disciplines.


  • Artists' Moving Image: gallery practices, multi-screen installation, artists' feature film, sound art, film & performance art, materiality and process.

  • Film Historiography: European, Asian and Latin American cinemas, cult films, film archives, the film essay.

  • Counter cultural cinema: film collectives, guerrilla filmmaking, cinema of transgression, underground film, film activism, doc-fiction hybrids, De Sade studies.

  • Contextual and relational practices: site-specific film and sound installations.

  • Affect: Deleuze studies, urban film, time-image.

  • Film and History: memory studies, borders, new ethnographies.
  • Gareth Evans – dissertation title: The Idea of Armenia
    areas: the national, film and creative writing.
    Supervisors: Valentina Vitali, Kate Hodgkin, Tessa McWatt.

  • Orson Nava – dissertation title: Eastern Promise? Race, Innovation and Opportunity in the Creative Industries’ Regeneration of East London.
    Supervisors: David Chapman, Ash Sharma, Dominic Hingorani.

  • Najat Alsheridah – dissertation title: Women and Dance in Kuwaiti Cinema
    areas: feminist film studies, film and performance, film historiography. Supervisors: Valentina Vitali, David Chapman, Sarahleigh Castelyn.

  • Dhruv Rupapara – dissertation title: Kathak and Cinema in India
    areas: South Asian cinemas, film and performance. Supervisors: Valentina Vitali, Ash Sharma.

  • Rishabh Shrivastav – dissertation title: Atheism and Cinema in India
    areas: cinema, South Asia, atheism, politics. Supervisors: David Chapman, Valentina Vitali.

  • Naida Redgrave – dissertation title: Muslimah, a research-led practice exploration of the representation of black Muslim women in British cinema, 1997-2017.
    areas: British cinema, black and Muslim identity. Supervisors: Tessa McWatt, Valentina Vitali.

  • Natalia Jezova – research areas: Research: cultural history, memory and autobiography, photography; moving image.
    Supervisors: Antigone Memou, Jill Daniels.

  • Carmen Aleman – research areas: feminism and violence, mixed media, moving image. Supervisors: Grenville Davey, Jill Daniels, Angie Voela.

  • William Bishop-Stevens – research areas: absurdity, animism, animation. Supervisors: Grenville Davey, Jill Daniels.

  • Ashwin Joy – research areas: Malayalam cinema, horror cinema. Supervisors: Lindsay Hallam, Valentina Vitali, Jill Daniels.

Student Initiatives

Schema: our student film production unit, crewed by current students and recent graduates and producing in-house and out-of-house adverts, promos, live event recording, videography and documentaries for non-profit organisations.
Film Society: formed in 2012, the Film Society meets every Tuesday evening during term time to watch and discuss films. The society has a number of innovative methods for film selection, including lucky DVD dip and pitch your flick.


The taught programmes delivered through the Moving Image Studio Research Centre are BA (Hons) Film and MA Filmmaking. These courses take a more discourse-driven and socially engaged approach to module content and delivery than comparable masters and undergraduate courses. The programmes draw upon the rich and diverse research practices of a number of practitioners and theorists within and outside of the School of Arts and Digital Industries.

Core teaching staff: David Chapman, Jill Daniels, Paul Gormley, Lindsay Hallam, Johannes Maier, Jo Shoop, Valentina Vitali.


Residencies and Fellowships

In 2013 MIRC partnered with Film & Video Umbrella and Jerwood Space on the VU/Jerwood moving image award. The four award recipients used the moving image studio and other resources within the school to realize their projects, which were exhibited at the Jerwood Space and CCA Glasgow in the spring of 2014. Each of the artists gave presentations of their work and the projects in progress.

Since then, MIRC has offered a residency to an emerging artist every year:



Studio, Video Channel and Archives