Dr David Sorfa (MA, PhD)

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies | LLC Postgraduate Research Director | Programme Director of MSc & PhD in Film Studies


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 is editor-in-chief of the journal Film-Philosophy. He has written  on Michael Haneke, Czech film, surrealism, belief in cinema and the  philosophical implications of point-of-view. He has particular  interests in phenomenology, existentialism and the work of Jacques  Derrida. 

He was previously Head of Film Studies at Liverpool John Moores University.


PhD (University of Kent)

MA (University of Cape Town)

Responsibilities & affiliations

LLC Postgraduate Research Director 

Programme Director, MSc & PhD Film Studies

Editor-in-Chief, Film-Philosophy

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


Member of the Board Trustees of the Africa in Motion Film Festival (2015 - 2019)

Undergraduate teaching


  • Film Criticism and Analysis

Postgraduate teaching

  • Film Theory
  • Film-Philosophy
  • Film and Existentialism
  • Theories and Methods of Literary Study (two seminars on Jacques Derrida)


  • Film Adaptation
  • Cinema Auteurs
  • Research Methods in Film Studies

Open to PhD supervision enquiries?


Areas of interest for supervision

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

Current PhD students supervised

  • Gaming and Postliterary Adaptation
  • Film Poetics and Chinese Aesthetic Theory
  • Irene Dunne, Catholicism and Classical Hollywood Cinema
  • Contemporary American Television and Politics
  • Homosexuality in Spy Literature, Film and Television
  • Found Footage Film
  • Melodrama, Japanese Cinema and Emotion

Second Supervisor

  • Politics and Turkish Cinema - with Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz
  • Film Festivals in Chile - with Dr Charlotte Gleghorn
  • Antonin Artaud, Francis Bacon and Vincent van Gogh (Liverpool John Moores University) - with Professor Colin Fallows

Past PhD students supervised

Research summary

  • Film-philosophy and theory
  • Czech, European and classical Hollywood cinema
  • Art house film
  • Post-structuralism and phenomenology
  • Existentialism
  • Subjectivity in cinema
  • Genre, especially the Detective film, the Western and Romantic Comedy
  • Surrealism
  • Film Adaptation

View all 50 publications on Research Explorer

  • 2018 - present: MLitt Film Studies, University of Dundee
  • 2016 - present: MA Film Studies, King's College London
  • 2016 - 2020: BA Film Studies and English, 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