Dr David Sorfa (MA, PhD)

Senior Lecturer in Film Studies; Programme Director


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.

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 Derrida is the new Deleuze.


PhD (University of Kent)

MA (University of Cape Town)

Responsibilities & affiliations

Programme Director, MSc Film Studies

Editor-in-Chief, Film-Philosophy

Trustee on the Board of the Africa in Motion Film Festival (Chair)

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA)

Undergraduate teaching


  • Film Criticism and Analysis

Postgraduate teaching

  • Film Theory
  • Film-Philosophy
  • Film and Existentialism
  • Cinema Auteurs
  • Research Methods in Film Studies
  • Theories and Methods of Literary Studies (two seminars on Jacques Derrida)


  • Film Adaptation

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

  • 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
  • Absurd Humour and Politics in Contemporary European Cinema
  • Melodrama, Japanese Cinema and Emotion

Second Supervisor

  • Politics and Turkish Cinema - with Dr Nacim Pak-Shiraz
  • Film Festivals in Chile - with Dr Charlotte Gleghorn
  • Cinema and Presence: Being, Ontology and Contemporary Art Film - with Dr Daniel Yacavone
  • 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

Research activities

View all 66 activities on Research Explorer

View all 48 publications on Research Explorer

  • 2016 - present: MA Film Studies, King's College London
  • 2016 - present: BA & 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