Edinburgh Research Explorer

David Sorfa

Senior Lecturer - Reader in Film Studies

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

I welcome PhD applications in the areas of film-philosophy, film theory, aesthetics and cinematic adaptation. I am also interested in projects related to European and classical Hollywood cinema.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Kent
The Fetishism of Meaning: Disavowal in Kafka, Švankmajer and the Quay Brothers
Bachelor of Arts, University of Cape Town
Master of Arts, University of Cape Town

Professional Qualifications

2012Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA

Area of Expertise

Research expertiseFilm-Philosophy, Film Criticism and Interpretation, Czech and European Cinema, Phenomenology, Film Adaptation, Film Theory, Psychoanalysis, Existentialism


Dr David Sorfa is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Edinburgh and Programme Director of the MSc in Film Studies. He was previously Head of Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University and is editor-in-chief of the journal Film-Philosophy.

Dr Sorfa is currently the Director of Postgraduate Research for the School of Literatures, Langauges and Cultures.

He has written on Michael Haneke, Jan Švankmajer and Czech cinema as well as a broad range of other film subjects. He has particular interests in film-philosophy, phenomenology, the work of Jacques Derrida and film adaptation. He thinks that Existentialism is going to come back in style.


Administrative Roles

  • 2020 - present: Director of Postgraduate Research, LLC
  • 2013 - present: Programme Director of the MSc & PhD Film Studies, University of Edinburgh

External Examiner

  • 2018 - present: MLitt Film Studies, University of Dundee
  • 2016 - present: MA Film Studies, King's College London
  • 2016 - present: BA Film Studies, University of Dundee
  • 2010 - 2014: BA Film, Falmouth University
  • 2010 - 2014: BA Film, University of the West of England, Bristol
  • 2008 - 2012: MA Screening Europe, University of Swansea

Previous Roles

  • 2015 - 2019: Member of the Board of Trustees, Africa in Motion Film Festival

Research outputs

  1. The loves of a system: Miloš Forman and Barrandov

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

  2. Bohuslav Brouk

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

  3. Seeing oneself speak: Speech and thought in first-person camera cinema

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Research activities & awards

  1. External Examiner (MA by Research)

    Activity: Examination typesExternal Examiner or Assessor

  2. London Korean Film Festival 2019

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesPublic Engagement – Festival/Exhibition

  3. Surrealism and Theory Workshop

    Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesParticipation in workshop, seminar, course

View all (74) »

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