Dr Fraser Elliott

Lecturer in Film, Exhibition and Curation


I joined the MSc Film, Exhibition and Curation in 2020. Before joining the university, I worked as a member of the film programming team at HOME (https://homemcr.org/), Manchester's leading independent cinema and cross-art form venue. 

My PhD is in Screen Studies from the University of Manchester's Drama department. The thesis, titled "The Circulation of Chinese Cinemas in the UK: Studies in Taste, Tastemaking and Film Cultures", covered the ways Chinese-language films have been mediated, distributed, and exhibited for audiences around the UK since the 1950s. This research pays particularly close attention to the role of cultural gatekeepers and tastemakers to better understand the local intersections of taste, class, ethnicity, and numerous other factors, in the curation of "Chinese cinema" for regional audiences.

This work developed from my MSc in Media Management where I focused on the possibilities for academic involvement in film exhibition and film festivals. I'm a strong believer in collaborative research between the film industry and film academics and work with the understanding of "curation as research" in my practice. As part of this research, in 2014 I joined the Chinese Film Forum UK (CFFUK), a Manchester-based research and curation network centred on discussing and expanding the availability of regional Chinese-language films in the UK. As part of the CFFUK, I collaborated on the delivery and programming of numerous film seasons, events, one-off screenings, talks, and academic conferences at venues in Manchester and around England and Scotland. 

Research summary

My research interests include:

  • Film exhibition, distribution, and circulation
  • Taste Cultures
  • The politics, cinemas, and cultures of Hong Kong
  • Fast & Furious 

I am generally interested in the circulation of films, particularly the ways in which international films are mediated for regional audiences around the world. My research is based on the understanding that, for regional audiences, local tastemakers, gatekeepers, and curators can be more powerful in the creation of film canons and cultures than those who are involved in film production. 

My PhD research investigated the history of Chinese-language film in the UK, from the 1950s to the present day, with a particular focus on competing film cultures in the UK and the role played by Chinese-language films in their practice. This involved looking at the competing spaces of "art cinema" and "popular cinema", the development of Film education since the 1970s, trends in enthusiast, fan spaces and grassroots distributors, and contemporary trends of online distribution and new exhibition models.

As noted above, I view curation practice as a part of my research activity. To this end, I continue to work with HOME in Manchester and members of the CFFUK (though the research network was officially retired in 2023), as well as informal collaborations with events like the Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh and the Hong Kong Film Festival UK.

I am also interested in the cultural industries more widely, with experience working in video game development, and have been published on this sector in addition to my work in Film.

Current research interests

I have an ongoing interest in Hong Kong cinema. To this end, I am currently working on projects centered on working class comedies of the 1970s; genre cycles more broadly across Hong Kong's history; and the British circulation of contemporary cinema and the films of Stephen Chow. In addition to this Hong Kong focus, alongside my colleagues Dr Joshua Gulam and Dr Sarah Feinstein at the Universities of Liverpool Hope and Leeds respectively, I am working on various collaborative projects related to the Fast & Furious franchise.

Project activity

For information on the screenings, events, conferences, and seasons worked on with the CFFUK, please visit the dedicated page on the HOME website: https://homemcr.org/event/chinese-film-forum-uk/

I am a festival consultant, and previously co-curator, for the Taiwan Film Festival Edinburgh - https://taiwanfilmfestival.org.uk/ - and collaborator and consultant for the Hong Kong Film Festival UK: https://www.hkff.uk/