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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 & 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 acts as a hub for all researchers involved in the moving image. It's interdisciplinary research projects combine both theory and practice and incorporates a diverse range of disciplines including anthropology, sociology, psychology and philosophy.

Research Areas: 

  • Artists' Moving Image (gallery practices, multi screen installation, artists' feature film, sound art, film & performance art, materiality and process, digital/analogue)
  • Historiography (particularly British cinema and Hindi cinema, film archives, the cinematic essay, the concept of the extra)
  • Counter cultural cinema (cult film, occult film, film collectives, guerrilla filmmaking, cinema of transgression, underground film, film activism, doc-fiction hybrids, De Sade studies)
  • Contextual and relational practices (site specific film, use of reenactment, landscape film, new education paradigms)
  • Inference and Affect (new narrative iterations, Deleuze studies, autism and cinema, film and game culture, time-image)
  • Film and Ethics (advocacy, agency, encountering taboo, minor cinema, the marginal, borders, new ethnographies)

The Centre provides a vibrant context for research. The black box studio and satellite pre/post-production spaces offer highly active production environments including a unique multi-screen platform. 

The annual symposium Parallax Views, presents the practice of UK-based filmmakers, the research of scholars writing about moving image, and the work of organisations operating in this field.  This is held along with a compact calendar of screenings, events and visiting filmmakers/ speakers.

The bi-annual residency programme offers mid-career moving image artists and filmmakers access to the Moving Image Studio, editing suites and shooting equipment.

The studio is also a home for teaching. Academics along with BA, MA, Prof Doc and PhD students use the space for workshops, lectures, film planning, rehearsals, shooting, installation, test screenings, discussions and events.

We have an extensive network and a wide range of partner organisations including: the BFI, London Film Festival, Film and Video Umbrella, Film London; London Short Film Festival, East End Film Festival, Sheffield Documentary Film Festival, Lux, Film-Philosophy, Documentary Now!: Open City Docs and the annual Visible Evidence conference.


Tales from The Wicker Man: How Cinema and Television Reinvented the Mythical Landscape of Britain. Gary Parsons

Between the periods of 1965 to 1986 British cinema and television produced some of its strangest output ever. Such productions not only looked at the legends, the mythology and the pre-Christian ideologies of our isles, it also painted them within a modern setting. Ideas presented within these films would soon begin to take on a life of their own and profoundly influence the burgeoning ‘New Age’ culture. During the research I will be examining key elements into why a plethora of these films sprang up at this time. These will deal with the rise of the counterculture of the late sixties and early seventies and its direct relationship with these films such as in 1975’s Winstanley. The subsequent re-emergence of the occult during this era asserted an influence over some of these films, such as; the various witchcraft documentaries of the early seventies and cult horror films for example Blood on Satan’s Claw (1970). I shall be documenting for the very first time this cross cultural phenomena that exploded these differing ideologies onto the screen. This is an important part of British cinema and culture that has never been fully explored before in depth.


The programmes delivered through the Moving Image Studio Research Centre are principally BA (Hons) Film and MA Filmmaking (shown below). 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.

Student Initiatives

Schema is a UEL student production unit, crewed by current students and recent graduates, producing in-house and out-of-house adverts, promos, live event recording, videography and documentaries. 
Twentyfour Frames is a student-led website from the University of East London. UEL's premiere film magazine brings the latest film reviews and news along with featured items on the work of University of East London students. Formed in 2012, the View Screening Society meets every Thursday evening in the Moving Image Studio during term time. The society has a number of innovative methods for film selection, including lucky DVD dip, my favourite film, and pitch your flick.


Residencies and Fellowships

The Moving Image Research centre has partnered with Film & Video Umbrella and Jerwood Space on the FVU/Jerwood moving image award. The four award recipients are using the moving image studio and other resources in ADI to realize their projects, which will be exhibited at the Jerwood Space and CCA Glasgow in the spring of 2014. Each of the artists will give presentations of their work and the projects in progress.


Sebastian Buerkner - MIRC Artist in Residence January - September 2015 

At MIRC Sebastian will continue his ongoing research and practical investigation into syntax and structure of filmic representation and its subversion. In the past, Sebastian's films and installations harnessed the transgressive, experimental possibilities of animation in order to investigate hierarchies of memory and association, subjectivity of experience and multi-narrative possibilities.

During his MIRC residency he will for the first time work in live action. There he plans to investigate how the disruptive strategies for image and narrative he uses in his animations would translate to a camera studio shoot, by “animating” objects, spaces, people to the cameras eye. Unhinged spatial settings, backscreen projection, double exposure and acting will be employed to generate an ambiguous and unreliable reality. Additionally he plans to expand his recent experiences with working in stereoscopy during the residency.

Sebastian Buerkner (born in Berlin, Germany) lives and works in London. He completed an MA at Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2002 and was awarded their Fellowship Residency 2003. From 2004 his art practice has shifted exclusively to animation. Recent solo shows include Kunsthaus im KunstkulturQuartier Nuremberg, Germany; Tramway, Glasgow; Sketch, London; The Showroom Gallery, London; Whitechapel Project Space; nLondon and LUX at Lounge Gallery, London; Art on the Underground, Screen at Canary Wharf, London. He has also participated in group shows and screenings at Tate; Barbican, Whitechapel Gallery, South London Gallery, London and Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna. His film Purple Grey (2006) was broadcast as part of AnimateTV on Channel 4. This year he won the Tiger Award for his latest film The Chimera of M. at the International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Studio, Video Channel and Archives