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Dr James Kenward-Abdollahyan

Dr James Kenward-Abdollahyan profile picture

Part 3 Year Head

Outreach and Widening Participation Co-ordinator

Social Media Co-ordinator

Areas of interest

My research is primarily focused on questions of realism in film, particularly through the interweaving of documentary and fiction in Iranian art cinema. Informed by mise-en-scene analysis and film theory, I explore realism as a both a visual strategy and a political and philosophical act in which the filmmaking process directly engages with the real physical world.

Recent research papers and video essay projects have analysed, for instance, distanciation and reflexivity in Abbas Kiarostami’s Close-Up (1990) and football and female spectatorship in Jafar Panahi’s Offside (2006).

Postgraduate supervision

I welcome postgraduate students with an interest in Iranian cinema or world cinema more broadly, particularly relating to cinematic realism and other issues of representation.


I convene and teach across a range of modules, including:

Introduction to Filmmaking

Approaches to Film 

Contemporary Documentary

Screen Storytelling and Criticism

Advanced Filmmaking Project

MA Film Practice or Dissertation

Professional bodies/affiliations

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Member of the British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies (BAFTSS)


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