Dr. Alison Kahn (Director)


BA (Hons), MA (London), MPhil (Oxon), DPhil (Oxon) Fellow HEA

Dr. Alison Kahn was trained as an anthropologist at the universities of London (MA) and Oxford (MPhil, DPhil). She works in both the media industry and in academia, lecturing on documentary filmmaking and museum anthropology. She integrates the use of audio-visual artefacts and digital media as tools and products of her research. Her area of study includes material culture and colonial and post-colonial discourses in India, focusing on Naga representation in European museums and Anglo-Indian global diasporas.

Alison is Director of the Oxford Documentary Film Institute, which specialises in workshops on factual filmmaking and emerging digital methods as tools for research. She is a research and tutorial fellow in Museum Anthropology and Modernist Literature at Stanford University Overseas Program in Oxford.

Her research portfolio spans across material culture studies, visual, digital, and museum anthropology. Her recent projects experimenting with digital media formats have included non-linear storytelling with ebooks, interactive documentaries, VR and AR technologies.

She has worked as a director and producer on several documentaries including her own commissioned 3-part documentary film series for Discovery Channel. She produced and directed Captured by Women (2011) – a one-hour documentary in four parts that focuses on film footage made by two British women in the 1930: Beatrice Blackwood in Papua New Guinea and Ursula Graham Bower in Manipur, India, This film was made in collaboration with the Pitt Rivers Museum, and with the help of a grant from UK Film Council via Screen South.

Ursula Graham Bower and Beatrice Blackwood are currently being celebrated at the Intrepid Women Exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford. https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/event/intrepid-women

Alison is a member of the Mental Health and Aesthetics Research Group at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, and the Public Health Film Society, UK, Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and a member of the Royal Anthropology Institute (RAI).

Her forthcoming monograph: Museum Dynasties: ethnographic collections as expressions of immortality (1851-1939) will be published by Routledge.

Please see Research page for more information on Alison’s current and past projects.


Nicholas O’Dwyer (Tutor)


Nick is one of the UK’s most experienced documentary directors and executive producers. He trained as a director at the BBC and has directed some of Britain’s most watched and controversial documentaries, winning international awards and directing on BAFTA-winning series. He’s been called “one of the country’s best documentary makers and interviewers” (Mail on Sunday) and a great many worse things. Nick founded and ran Landmark Filmswww.landmarkfilms.com from 2002 to 2017. He originally trained as a newspaper journalist and have published features in The Spectator, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Mirror, New Statesman and the BBC website. He currently teaches directing and camerawork for, amongst others, the National Film and Television School, the BBC Academy and Screenskills – the industry training body – and lectures at several UK universities.

Dr. Maarten Roos (Filmmaker and Planetary Scientist)

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MA (Univ. of Leiden, the Netherlands & Univ. of Paris 7), DPhil (Univ. of Paris 6)

Maarten is an all-round independent factual filmmaker and planetary scientist. He is passionate about and specialized in factual and educational productions on science & technology, music & art. He has made films for institutions such as European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency and the Paris Observatory, the VU medical centre in Amsterdam, and collaborated on a Discovery Channel Canada production about Mars exploration. In 2011 was commissioned to make a science documentary for Portuguese national TV channel RTP2, which was aired in 2012 (Between Mars and Svalbard). He made several independent documentaries, one of which was broadcast several times in the Netherlands (Spiral Galaxy, 2009). Other films have won awards at festival, such as  Living the Tradition,which won the Best Documentary Feature award at the Erie International Film Festival in 2014 and The Venus Twilight Experiment, which won the award for Best Photography at the the BICC Bienial Internacional de Cine Científico  in November 2016 in Ronda, Andalusia, Spain in 2016.

Apart from film related work he is doing a research project about the effectiveness of scientific videos on the internet.

Learn more about his work at his website Lightcurve Films.


Zeynep Yanar (Project Manager)


BSc Digital Media Production (Oxford Brookes University)

Zeynep is an indépendant filmmaker who has been producing short films since her university years that have been nominated for awards internationally. Her current projects are; ‘Digital Children’, ‘Project 70’, ‘Shh’, ‘Asirlik Cinar Yesilcam’ and ‘The A Word’. She also actively runs projects within Ridinghoodz which is a motorbike group aiming to empower women.