Dr David Sorfa (MA, PhD)

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 and PhD 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 film-philosophy, Existentialism, phenomenology, the work of Jacques Derrida and the presentation of thought and thinking in cinema. 

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
  • Member of the Edinburgh University Press Committee 
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)


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

Undergraduate teaching

Postgraduate teaching


  • Film Adaptation
  • Cinema Auteurs
  • Film Criticism and Analysis
  • Comparative Literature (2 seminars on Jacques Derrida)

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

  • Mental States and Fear in Film
  • Fiction and Reality in Cinema
  • H. P.  Lovecraft and Postliterary Adaptation
  • Film Poetics and Chinese Aesthetic Theory
  • Irene Dunne, Catholicism and Classical Hollywood Cinema
  • Nostalgia in Contemporary American Television
  • Homosexuality in Spy Literature, Film and Television

Second Supervisor

  • Politics and Turkish Cinema - with Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz

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

Research activities

View all 75 activities on Research Explorer

View all 50 publications on Research Explorer

  • 2016 - 2020: MA Film Studies, King's College London
  • 2016 - 2020: BA Film Studies and English, MLitt 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