Screening European Heritage

Workshop Films Now Online

History in FocusThe three short documentary films produced by young people from Leeds, Berlin and Saxony during our summer workshop “History in Focus” at the Bautzen Memorial, site of the former Stasi prison, are now in the public domain. View them here. Also online is a short documenary film about freedom of speech made by the three UK participants after the workshop which investigates the topic of surveillance and its relevance … Read more

“History in Focus” Film wins 2nd Prize in Competition for Young Journalists

Group WitnessDuring the “History in Focus” workshop at the Bautzen Memorial, Valli, Anna, Danny and Leo interviewed Manfred Matthies, who was imprisoned at Bautzen in the 1970s for helping people to escape to West Germany. Following the workshop, the group submitted a shorter version of their film to SchoolsON, a national competition for young journalists held by German broadcaster Pro7. We are absolutely delighted to announce that their film won the … Read more

The Centre for World Cinemas at Leeds to lead the White Rose Studentship Network: European Film, European Heritage, European Identity

girl_with_a_pearl_earringCWC, in collaboration with ‘Theatre, Film and Television’ at York and the Sheffield Centre for Research in Film has been awarded Three PhD Studentships. The students will be co-supervised across Leeds, Sheffield and York, and will explore the role played by European institutions in the production of European historical dramas, examining three interrelated sets of questions:

  • What role does European, national and regional cultural policy play in the production of
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Screening European Heritage: Final Summary Report

From La Reine Margot (1994) to The King’s Speech (2010), historical dramas dominate mainstream European film production and often generate major national debates on the role of the past in contemporary national identity construction. Defined in the 1990s as “heritage films” by academics such as Andrew Higson, Belén Vidal and Claire Monk, who each became contributing members of this project, the makers of such films frequently work in partnership with … Read more

Screening European Heritage gives evidence to House of Lords Select Committee


As part of the project, the team has written a briefing paper of its key initial findings. This work was enhanced by a “Worldwide Universities Network” Project led by the University of Leeds in conjunction with colleagues in Denmark, South Africa, Brazil and China and has been taken up as written evidence by the House of Lords Select Committee on Soft Power and the UK’s Influence.

The submission can … Read more

The Producer of The King’s Speech comes to Leeds

photoAs the closing event of our initial AHRC project, Gareth Unwin of Bedlam Productions was invited to the Leeds Humanities Research Institute by the Centre for World Cinemas and the Institute for Communication Studies. Gareth has produced numerous Heritage projects for television and cinema, most notable the Oscar-winning The King’s Speech. Gareth talked the audience through the development process of the movie, the challenge of funding historical films, … Read more

Screening European Heritage featured in Viewfinder

headdownloadThe project is featured in the latest edition of Viewfinder, the journal of the British Universities Film & Video Council. The article gives an overview of some of the project’s initial findings and can be viewed here.

The article also formed the basis of a presentation the project team gave at the recent ‘Film, History and Public Memory Conference’ at Derry/Londonderry, where we also screened the project’s ‘showreel’Read more

Professor Robert Burgoyne (St. Andrews) discusses “Somatic War” at the Centre for World Cinemas

The figure of the body in narratives of war has long served to crystallize ideas about collective violence and the value or futility of sacrifice, often functioning as a symbol of historical transformation and renewal or, contrastingly, as a sign … Read more

Feeding Nostalgia and Rewriting History: Joanna Rydzewska on Heritage Film in the Polish Context

RydzewskaA Lecturer at Swansea University, Joanna Rydzewska works on European cinema, with an emphasis on exile, migration and the transnational. She has published on Polish émigré directors such as Roman Polanski, Krzysztof Kieslowski and Pawel Pawlikowski and, more recently, on the portrayal of Polish labour migration to the UK in the Polish television series Londyńczycy/Londoners (2008-09). In this interview with “Screening European Heritage”, of which she is a … Read more

Denmark’s Recent Wave of Historical Films: An Interview with Claus Ladegaard, Head of Production and Development at the Danish Film Institute

AsSpies & Glistrup 2 Head of Production and Development at the main body for film funding in Denmark, Claus Ladegaard has a unique overview of where the country’s movie industry is headed. In this interview with “Screening European Heritage”, he discusses the boom of historical films which Denmark has been experiencing over the past five years. With themes ranging from the Danish resistance against the Nazi occupation to post-war icons of national progress … Read more

The Long Tradition of Danish Historical Dramas: An Interview with Lars-Martin Sørensen, Danish Film Institute

SørensenLars-Martin Sørensen is a film historian and Head of Research Unit at the Danish Film Institute where is currently writing a study of Danish cinema during the Second World War. Previously a post-doctoral research fellow at the Department of Film and Media Studies, University of Copenhagen, he is author of Censorship of Japanese Films during the U.S. Occupation of Japan (Lewiston, N.Y.: Edwin Mellen Press, 2009), has published numerous articles … Read more

Basque Heritage Cinema: A Trailer for the Documentary by Rob Stone

To be presented at the “Screening European Heritage”-conference (12-13 September 2013), Basque Heritage Cinema is a documentary short directed and edited by Rob Stone that combines interviews with academic experts, excerpts from key Basque films, and footage illustrating a “heritage” tour of the Basque Country. Interviewees include María Jesús Cava Mesa, Professor of Modern and Contemporary History in Deusto, Bilbao, Leyre Arrieta Alberdi, Professor of Basque History and María Pilar … Read more

New Podcast: Duncan Wheeler on Spanish Heritage Film

WheelerDuncan Wheeler, Lecturer in Spanish at the University of Leeds, is an expert in Early-Modern and contemporary Spanish culture, with a particular interest in the interrelationship between cultural institutions, art, politics and memory. In this presentation given at Leeds in January 2013, he explores the question of heritage film in Spain, from the historical dramas produced during the Franco period to the recent wave of heritage films and their … Read more

From Political Critique to Online Fandom: Claire Monk on British Heritage Film, its Origins and Afterlife

MonkEver since her MA dissertation on the sexual politics and critical reception of Merchant Ivory Productions’ 1980s-1990s “greatest hits” in relation to the concurrent rise of the critique of “heritage cinema”, Claire Monk, Reader in Film & Film Culture at De Montfort University, Leicester, has been a key voice in debates about British heritage film. Having recently joined the “Screening European Heritage”-network, she discusses the origins of the … Read more

Conference Programme Now Online

The “Screening European Heritage”-conference will take place from 12 to 13 September 2013 at Weetwood Hall in Leeds. Bringing together a vast range of film and media scholars, and featuring keynote speeches by Andrew Higson and Claire Monk, the conference will investigate historical forms of and recent trends in heritage film on a European scale. The full programme, including abstracts of the various presentations, is now available from the ConferenceRead more

Dark Heritage, Identity and Community: In Conversation with Matthew Boswell

Downfall-02Matthew Boswell, a Research Fellow at the University of Leeds and a member of the “Screening European Heritage” network, currently works on cultural representations of the Holocaust produced by non-victims, with a particular emphasis on issues of irreverence and the taboo. He is also interested in the idea of “dark heritage” and how historical traumas such as the Holocaust relate to the film and heritage industries. In … Read more

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