Contact RIMAP

Research Institute for Media, Arts and Performance
University of Bedfordshire
Luton campus
University Square

+44 (0)1234 400 400 (switchboard)

Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska

Reader in Film Practice and Theory

Agnieszka Piotrowska

I am a BBC trained, award winning documentary filmmaker with substantial experience in broadcast television in the UK and internationally.

Since winning the Best First Film Prize at the BBC as a trainee, I have gone on to make a number of award winning films across the channels, including the flagship Channel 4's strand Cutting Edge, Discovery and the National Geographic as well as the iconic Married to the Eiffel Tower.

The reviewers have called my films 'seminal', 'groundbreaking' and 'visually stunning'. I have collaborated with important artists all over the world and have recently been working with the British Council as a consultant and trainer.

I have also directed theatre and have recently completed a British Council funded hybrid documentary film shot in Zimbabwe in 2011/2012 and a documentary about Lech Walesa funded with a grant from the European Solidarity Foundation.

In the Barbican exhibition in London in 2009 I was named one of 30 most successful artists of Polish origin living in the UK.

With my move from a practitioner to a practitioner and theorist, I have presented widely in the last few years at international conferences around the world. I have published my first monograph in late September 2013 and am publishing papers in peer-reviewed journals.

An edited collection of essays entitled Embodied Encounters: New Approaches to Film and Psychoanalysis will be published in 2014 with Routledge.

I am also a co-leader of a new research initiative Psychoanalysis in Our Time funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

I am working on a new monograph on documentary and post-colonial discourse.

Embodied Encounters Seminar at the Freud Museum, London


  • BA English and Scandinavian Studies - Hull University
  • MA - University of Reading
  • PhD - 2009-2012, awarded under the supervision of professors Stephen Frosh and Laura Mulvey at Birkbeck College, University of London.

Research Interests

  • Psychoanalysis and film
  • Documentary
  • Critical theory and film and culture
  • Gender
  • New media and the unconscious


  • Edited Collection (2014) Embodied Encounters: New Approaches to Film and Psychoanalysis
  • Monograph (2013), 'Psychoanalysis and Ethics in Documentary Film' published by Routledge (…path-breaking…insightful... important, radical and compelling…'
Michael Renov, Professor of Critical Studies, University of Southern California, USA) 
  • The Question of Ethics in Documentary Film: Enemies of the People in Nordicuum Mediteraneu
  • (in press) The Horror of a Doubleganger –in a collection of essays: The Phallic Eye: Sensational Visual Pleasures in Literature ed. Gilad Padva and Nurit Buchweitz. Tel Aviv University Press/Cambridge University Press.
  • (2012)Conman and I: A Case Study in Transference in Documentary  - in Studies in Documentary Film (May 2012) V 6 (1), pp. 15-29.
  • (2012) Psychoanalysis and Documentary – an extended book review of Elizabeth Cowie's (2012) Recording Reality, Desiring the Real and Alisa Lebow's (2008) First Person Jewish in Studies in Documentary Film (May2012) V 6 (1), pp. 99-108.
  • (2011) Animating the Real –A Case Study: in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6 (3) (November 2011) pp.335-353.

Selected Articles and chapters

  • (2014) (2013) (in print) Transference in Documentary in American Imago ( v. 1 2014)
  • (2013) The Horror of a Doppelganger  (on why the subjects of documentary films hate seeing their representation)  in New Review of Film and Television Studies
  • (2013) Intolerance and joy, violence among female football fans: towards a psychosocial explanation in Sport and Society (with Andy Harvey) (v.3) DOI:10.1080/17430437.2013.821253
  • (2012) The Question of Ethics in Documentary Film: Enemies of the People in Nordicuum Mediteraneu. V. 12
  • (2012) Conman and I: A Case Study in Transference in Documentary  - in Studies in Documentary Film (May 2012) V 6 (1), pp. 15-29.
  • (2012) Psychoanalysis and Documentary – an extended book review of Elizabeth Cowie's (2012) Recording Reality, Desiring the Real and Alisa Lebow's (2008) First Person Jewish in Studies in Documentary Film(May2012) V 6 (1), pp. 99-108.
  • (2011) Animating the Real – A Case Study: in Animation: An Interdisciplinary Journal 6 (3) (November 2011) pp.335-353.

Selected filmography

  • 2013 – THE ENGAGEMENT PARTY IN HARARE – About post-colonial identities at the International Festival of the Arts in Zimbabwe, funded by the British Council
  • 2013: THE (un) FINISHED PORTRAIT OF LECH WALESA - A one hour film re-visiting the characters for my first film MEN OF STEEL (BBC1) funded by the European Solidarity Centre
  • 2009: THE BEST JOB IN THE WORLD  (BBC1) The only film documenting the award winning advertising campaign and competition. It was the highest rating programme in the week of its broadcast
  • 2008: MARRIED TO THE EIFFEL TOWER (Channel Five) Cult documentary shown at festivals and channels all over the world. It won a prize at the Extravagant Bodies Festival in Zagreb in 2010. It was also screened at the Freud Museum in November 2011
  • 2007: INSIDE LORD OF THE RINGS THE MUSICAL -  (1 hour PBS/National Geographic)
  • 2007: TRAPPED BY MY TWINS, CUTTING EDGE  - (Channel 4) Nominated for a Broadcast Award
  • 2006: CONMAN WITH 14 WIVES  (Channel Five)
  • 2006: UNDERCOVER COPPER (Channel 4, Dispatches) Nominated for the RTS
  • 2005/2006: THE BIGAMISTS (Sky One) Won the Fred Wiseman Master Class award at the Dublin Film Festival, 2005
  • 2003/2004: RUNNING FOR FREEDOM: Series producer and director (National Geographic) The innovative animated/live action series about London refugees
  • 2000/2001:SELF PORTRAIT: Series producer and director (National Geographic) Won a Special Mention at the European Film Festival in Bardonechia
  • 1999/2000: LOVE HURTS, CUTTING EDGE (Channel 4) nominated for BAFTA
  • 1999/2000: SHOWGIRL STORIES (BBC/Discovery) nominated for EMMY
  • 1996: SEX, LIES AND JERZY KOSINSKI (BBC 2) nominated for EMMY

Contact Details

T: +44 (0)1582 489151

Bedfordshire University

People» Dr Agnieszka Piotrowska