UCL Anthropology


Teaching Staff

Teaching Staff for the Creative Documentary by Practice MFA

Course Tutor: Ellen Evans

Ellen Evans is a Grierson award-winning director whose films have screened at festivals such as Sundance, SXSW, and Hot Docs - and with public broadcasters such as PBS and the BBC. Ellen has been a grantee of the BFI Doc Society’s ‘Made of Truth’ program, the Indie Training Fund’s ‘Rising Director’s Scheme’, and Roundhouse London’s ‘Emerging Artist’ scheme. Her work has platformed online with The Atlantic, Short of the Week and Vimeo Staff Picks. Ellen’s most recent film, ‘Motherland’, received positive reviews in The Guardian and The Financial Times, and was acquired by the BFI for the National Film Archives.

Senior Tutor: Sophie Fiennes

Sophie Fiennes is a filmmaker based in London whose feature documentaries for theatrical exhibition include her collaborations with the Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek, The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema (2006), and The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012), her portrait of German artist Anselm Keifer, Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (2010), Grace Jones; Bloodlight and Bami (2017), an observational odyssey into the world of the iconic singer and performer. This project came about following Fiennes’ first theatrical feature documentary Hoover Street Revival (2001) about a Pentecostal church community in Los Angeles.

Fiennes’ work for broadcast includes her first short Lars from 1-10, about the Danish film director Lars von Trier and his ‘Dogme rules’ film manifesto and arts documentaries, The Late Michael Clark,(1998), Because I Sing (2001), VSPRS Show and Tell (2005), and Liu Xiaodong Half Street (2013), Artificial Things ( 2018) and Four Quartets ( 2022). She also made a 5 minute fictional short, First Row Orchestra, for Arte’s Hopper Vu Par (2012).

Fiennes' films have been distributed internationally and screened in festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Rotterdam, IDFA, London, Edinburgh, Sundance, Locarno, Sydney, Adelaide, Marseilles, Paris, Munich, Stockholm and more. She was awarded a NESTA fellowship in 2001 to develop her innovative approach to film and received the Arte France Cinema Award in 2008 at Rotterdam’s Cinemart. Her film Artificial Things won the IMZ award for best performance on film. She has presented her work in contemporary art and museum contexts internationally with Tate now acquiring the installation current/SEE, which comprises a 12 minute section of her film The Late Michael Clark.

Senior Tutor: Grant Gee

Grant started his career making music videos including the iconic clip for Radiohead’s song ‘No Surprises’ then went onto make a 500,000 DVD-selling, Grammy-nominated documentary about the band called, ‘Meeting People is Easy’. His next music documentary ‘Joy Division’  won the 2008 Grierson Award for Best Cinema Documentary.

His most recent film, The Gold Machine (2022) won the award for ‘Outstanding Contribution in Documentary' at the IFF festival in New York. It completes a trilogy of creative, ‘psychogeographic’ feature-documentaries on writers and landscapes begun in 2011 with ‘Patience: After Sebald' and continuing with 2015’s ‘Innocence of Memories’ (with original script by Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk).

His films have been distributed internationally with premieres at the Toronto, New York and Venice film festivals.

He also has a long running collaboration with renowned theatre and opera director Katie Mitchell, and directs ‘live-cinema’ and stand-alone art films as part of her productions at major European venues including the Royal Opera House, London, Schaubuhne, Berlin and Burgtheater, Vienna.

Grant is currently in pre-production on a drama feature, 'Everybody Digs Bill Evans’, scheduled to shoot in 2023 with Anders Danielsen Lie starring as the legendary jazz musician.

Senior Tutor: Dr. Sharone Lifschitz

Sharone Lifschitz is an artist and filmmaker. Her film, The Visitor, emerged from a collaboration with Pritzker Prize-winning Chinese architect Wang Shu with support from The Architectural Association, Art Council England, The Ostrovsky Family Film Fund, and the Elephant Trust. Her work was the subject of a major survey show at the Jewish Museum Munich, and her project Speaking Germany won the City of Munich international competition for the inaugural commission for the New Jewish Museum and is installed permanently in St Jacob Platz. She has participated in group shows at The Royal Academy, London; Wroclaw Contemporary Museum; Kunsthaus Dresden; Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Cultural Centre, Haifa; and House of World Cultures, Berlin. 

Lifschitz trained as an architect at the Architectural Association and The Cooper Union and holds an MA (Honors) in Fine Art from Central St. Martins and a PhD from UEL. 

Editing Tutor: Lucy Harris

Lucy Harris is a professional freelance video offline editor, film maker and lecturer. She specialises in working with independent and creative documentary filmmakers, artists and arts organisations both as an offline editor and edit consultant. In 2016, she was awarded the Jules Wright Prize in recognition of an ‘outstanding contribution to Artists Films’ in the field of editing.

Her own work as an artist filmmaker informs her professional editing and teaching and she appreciates the challenges and demands of documentary filmmaking in all its forms. Collaboration and dialogue are central to her practice and she enjoys developing the long-term working relationships with filmmakers including Roz Mortimer, Alia Syed, Lucy Parker and Rosalind Nashashibi. Recent credits include ‘Here is elsewhere’, (2021) Sarah Wood’s essay film commission for Kettles Yard and ‘Denim Sky’ (2022) Rosalind Nashashibi’s hybrid new feature documentary premiered at Open City Docs 2022.

Her own film works have been exhibited in galleries, cinemas and film festivals in the UK and internationally, including the Whitechapel, BFI and ICA cinemas.

Mentor: Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan is an artist and filmmaker based in London. Her practice explores the historical and political resonance of material and place. She was recently awarded the Sainsbury Scholarship (2023) by the British School at Rome and is featured in British Art Show 9, the largest touring exhibition of contemporary art in the UK. She was the Stanley Picker Fine Art Fellow (2019-22) at Kingston University and was awarded the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists (2021) and the Jerwood/FVU Award (2018). She is a current resident at Somerset House Studios. Brennan’s work has been exhibited and screened internationally. Solo exhibitions include Stanley Picker Gallery, London; Chisenhale Gallery, London; The Whitworth, University of Manchester; Spike Island, Bristol; Mother’s Tankstation, Dublin; Wäinö Aaltonen Museum of Art in Turku, Finland; Kunsthaus Bregenz, Austria and E-WERK Freiburg: Galerie für Gegenwartskunst, Germany (forthcoming). 

Mentor: Gerard Ortin

Gerard Ortín Castellví (b. 1988, Barcelona) is an artist, filmmaker and researcher. After completing an MFA at Sandberg Instituut (Amsterdam), he finished an MA in Artists' Film and Moving Image at Goldsmiths, University of London, where he is currently doing a PhD and teaching at the MA Art & Ecology. He has exhibited at Whitechapel Gallery (London), Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona), Tabakalera (Donostia-San Sebastián), Stedelijk Museum Buro of Amsterdam (Amsterdam), and Office for Contemporary Art (Oslo). His works have been screened in places like the Anthology Film Archives (NY), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris), LUX (London) and festivals like Visions du Réel (Nyon), Open City Film Festival (London), Cinéma du Réel (Paris), KVIFF (Karlovy Vary), HKIFF (Hong Kong) and Berlinale (Berlin).

Mentor: Jessica Sarah Rinland

Jessica Sarah Rinland is an Argentine-British artist filmmaker whose work explores the tactile processes of labour within various disciplines including archaeology, zoology and marine biology, and the fluctuation of knowledge within these fields.   

Rinland’s work has been exhibited internationally at Taipei Biennial, University of Tennessee Downtown Gallery, National Gallery Singapore, Tabakalera, Somerset House and Bloomberg New Contemporaries. She has won awards including Special Mention at Locarno Film Festival and Best Film at DocumentaMadrid, Primer Premio at the Bienale de Imagen en Movimiento Buenos Aires, Arts + Science Award at Ann Arbor Film Festival, ICA’s Best Experimental Film at LSFF, and M.I.T’s Schnitzer prize for excellence in the arts. Residencies and seminars include 2022 Flaherty Featured Artist, Film Studies Center at Harvard University, Somerset House Studios, MacDowell and Ikusmira Berriak. She holds a BA (Honors) in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London and a MSc in Arts, Culture and Technology from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.