How to Establish Film Practice Research and Evidence Impact in the Greek Academic Environment?
Link for the full paper:
Nowadays, there are two types of scholars teaching film courses at the Greek universities. The first one is the theoreticians with a background in film studies and a PhD in film theory, who approach their teaching methods strictly from a theoretical point of view. The second type of university teachers are practical filmmakers that come directly from the industry, most of them without a PhD or formal research experience. They approach their courses from a practical point of view sharing their experience from the industry.
Greek Universities are exclusively public at the moment and fall under the Ministry of Education. The system is quite bureaucratic and difficult to adapt within and responds slowly, if at all to changes. PhD candidates are dealing almost exclusively with traditional theoretical PhDs. Over the past several years, the first art-based PhDs focusing upon performing arts or visual arts in the Greek academic environment were submitted. However, the field of film practice research is still brand new. At the same time, over the past decade the Ministry of Education established a new unit in Universities that will measure the quality of research and teaching entitled Quality Assurance Unit (MO.DI.P). MO.DI.P is an advisory body for the administration of the University which, through the coordination of procedures for internal and external evaluation of the academic units of the Institution, gathers information regarding the strong and weak points of a University. Within this framework it is really difficult for arts based or film-based research practitioners to prove the impact of their research to MO.DI.P. and to establish film practice research in general within the Greek academic environment.
Since my background is on film practice and my PhD was undertaken in the United Kingdom, I am familiar with the ways that we can measure film practice impact in the academic environment. Establishing this culture in the Greek academic environment is quite difficult but at the same time it forges new paths and exciting opportunities for new art based and film-based research practitioners. This paper will focus on the ways that we can measure impact in film practice research, through examples from my own work. I will argue how I was able to measure the impact of my own films Flickering Souls Set Alight (2019) and A Quest for Eternity (2020) but also how to measure impact in more cross disciplinary research with examples of my participation as researcher in StoryLab (Skills Training for Democratised Film Industries) research lab. Finally, I will focus on the issues and the possibilities of establishing these new opportunities in the Greek academic environment and the solutions that this alternative path will be able to provide, not only to academia in Greece but to contemporary Greek filmmakers, too.