Name: Oliver J. L. Dixon
Supervisor: Amy Tobin
Research Topic: British Film Collectives in the Long 1970s and their Afterlives
About: Oliver is a first year PhD-student in Cambridge Film and Screen. He began his academic career with a BASc Arts and Sciences degree at University College London graduating with a first and experience across a variety of disciplines including Philosophy, Anthropology, Film Studies and Psychology. He then moved to the University of Bristol where he completed an MA in Film and Television Studies with distinction. His prize-winning MA thesis produced a comprehensive history of the 1970s film collective Cinema Action which he is currently developing for publication. He is broadly interested in the connections and collaborations between political cinema and art cultures, oppositional political movements and histories from below.
Research: His PhD research expands on the history of British film collectives in the 1970s and 1980s. Exploring collectives such as Berwick Street Film Collective, London Women’s Film Group, Sheffield Film Co-Op, Cinema Action and Black Audio Film Collective, he will interrogate how such collaborative groups provided new social and aesthetic spaces of production, distribution and exhibition to shape cinema’s political possibilities in an era of emergent political groupings.
He is equally concerned with the work of film history and the afterlives of this period of British independent cinema. His research will investigate the re-emergence of such film collectives in recent galleries, retrospectives and publications asking both how the social and aesthetic functions of collectives shift in contemporary contexts and how these histories might help us shape future oppositional film cultures.
Alongside his academic work, he also intends to develop his film programming to present neglected works from this period of British cinema to new audiences and connect these works to wider political cinema cultures.
Selected Scholarship / Prizes
-AHRC Open-Oxford-Cambridge DTP – Trinity College Doctoral Scholarship, 2023-2027
-Department of Film and Television Outstanding Achievement Award for Highest Dissertation Mark, University of Bristol, 2023
-UCL Global Experience Bursary, 2019
-‘The Collective Space of Working-Class Film Collectives: Cinema Action and the Chronotopes of Radical Cinema’, in Beyond the Council the Estate: The Cinematic Spaces of the Working-Class, eds. Katerina Flint-Nicol & Deirdre O’Neill (Forthcoming 2024, University of Edinburgh Press).
– ‘Cinema Action and Chanel Four: Television at the Intersection of Radical Politics and Independent Film, ViewFinder Magazine 121 (Winter 2022).
Selected Conference Papers:
-‘(De)politicised Streaming: The Limits and Potential of Online Exhibition’, The Radical Film Network Conference, University of Genoa, 2022.