Film Studies

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The Centre for Film and Ethics

 The Centre for Film and Ethics facilitates interdisciplinary work involving ethics in the context of moving image research.  The centre operates as an international hub for exploring the interaction between film and ethics, in light of both traditional questions of moral philosophy and the complexities of the contemporary ethical landscape.   

The aims of the Centre:

  • To provide an optic for expertise in moving image culture and ethics and its range of applications (practice, theory, aesthetics, history, memory and so forth).
  • To create a hub to attract and support interdisciplinary research collaborations with the disciplines of Law, Medicine, Drama and others where ethics is variously treated, in order to think ethics as a multifaceted phenomenon.
  • To open up new avenues of collaborative practice with cultural institutions (museums, galleries, cinemas, festivals) and with organisations for whom ethics is a central concern, such as NGOs, charities and policy bodies.
  • To attract accomplished doctoral projects and postdoctoral researchers working in the field of Film and Ethics.
  • To cultivate a research environment where, in the context of ethics, there is a dialectic between film practice (documentary, film essay, artists’ moving image and fiction) and film theory.

Research Themes:

Janet Harbord’s research continues to concentrate on bio ethics, body language and film, working with Giorgio Agamben’s philosophy in the area of biopolitics and cinema, focusing on the ethics of gesture, the politics of bodily communication and definitions of life.  This involves examining the legibility of bodies in early medical film and British fiction film, tracing communicative disorders across arts and science.

Steven Eastwood is currently producing a feature length film, Island, and a multi screen gallery installation, The Interval and the Instant, both working with end of life. He is also working on Cinemautism, a research project exploring a non-inferential film model, in the context of autism and contested theories of mind. 

Libby Saxton, Guy Westwell and Jeremy Hicks are members of the Iconic Images of Political Violence Research Group. Libby Saxton is writing a book about how cinema has helped form and transform these influential and malleable images.

Guy Westwell has published widely on the war film and is now working on antiwar, unwar and pacifist cinema, with the varied forms of antiwar activism and the long-term legacies of war a primary focus.

Anat Pick's research focuses on more-than-human ethics, creaturely cinema, and animal liberation. Her new book project explores the visual dimensions of Simone Weil's religious philosophy. 

Lucy Bolton’s research, Contemporary cinema and the philosophy of Iris Murdoch, includes a forthcoming book and production of a film essay 'Attention to the world through Iris Murdoch.'

Anat Pick and Libby Saxton are co-editing a special issue of the journal Paragraph on contemporary cinema and religion.


Forthcoming events:

The Interval and the Instant

A film practice research project by Steven Eastwood

March 15th



The Centre for Film and Ethics presents Anatomy of Violence

There will be a London Asian Film Festival (LAFF 2017) screening on 17th March, 5 pm, Arts One ALT, hosted by the Centre for Film and Ethics (CfFE).  The event showcases the controversial film, Anatomy of Violence, by award-winning director Deepa Mehta.

Details below:

London Asian Film Festival screening

The event is free - please register via the Eventbrite link:


To find out more about the Centre's work please contact:

Lucy Bolton or Anat Pick

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