Essay Film

Convenors: Romana Turina (Arts University Bournemouth), Jill Daniels (University of East London)


The practice and formal analysis of the Essay Film form within the field of film, television and screen studies is an established academic area that is developing quickly with impactful contribution in the way the moving image is studied today. This group focuses on building on these foundations and exploring how the study of the essay film practice can develop within BAFTSS. The group aims to disseminate research and evaluate how the essay film can contribute new knowledge to the field of film studies in terms of its novelty, significance and narrative impact. The group also explores innovative methods of academic dissemination, public engagement and impact.

Event: Essay Film and Narrative Techniques: Screenwriting Non-fiction, 19th November 2017, The Interdisciplinary Centre for Narrative Studies, University of York. Keynote Speaker: Professor Laura Rascaroli

The Essay film is defined as a very special kind of non-fiction, which employs fictional techniques. There is very little research on the way these films are scripted and how screenwriting comes into play in the phase of the film’s development. Documentary scripts rarely make it into the BFI library archives, as their minor collection testifies. The first aim of the symposium was to address this problem and develop an understanding of the work done in this area. The second aim of the symposium was to develop collaborations for the fostering of further research. You can read a report on the symposium here, and see more photos of the event here.