Sightlines Conference 2016

Sightlines was a two-day event that focussed on the developing field of filmmaking as a form of academic research.

Universities worldwide contain academics and students who engage in filmmaking practice. Part conference and part festival, Sightlines included screenings of work within a wide range of styles and formats, as well as presentations and discussions on the diverse ways in which screen practice can be seen as contributing to knowledge.

It was presented by the Centre for Communication, Politics and Culture at RMIT University, with the support of the Australian Screen Production Education & Research Association (ASPERA).

Sightlines: topics

The production of films in the context of academic research is growing in scale and significance. Documentaries, dramas, essay and experimental films are made by postgraduate research students and academic staff, to extend an individual creative practice, develop the field of screen production or explore the possibilities of audio-visual media as a method of research in many fields of knowledge. Sightlines was an event designed to both interrogate and celebrate filmmaking practice in the context of academic research and explore its significance, through screenings, panels, presentations, roundtable discussions and keynote addresses. It sought to break down traditional boundaries between arts-based research and other forms of investigation, creating an arena for debate about the need for greater recognition of academic research that extends beyond written text.

Topics included:

    • How is film and filmmaking in the academy evolving?
    • What new forms of screen production are emerging and in what ways is creative practice research engaging with them?
    • How can screen production be developed as an academic research discipline?
    • On what basis should the peer review of screen production research be conducted?
    • How can creative practice research in screen production be funded or otherwise supported?
    • How should the relationship between screen production in the academy and the broader screen production industries be understood and how can it be usefully developed?

Download Conference programme


Keynote Speaker

Phillip McIntyre

The keynote speaker for the conference was Associate Professor Phillip McIntyre, from the University of Newcastle, who spoke on the relevance of creativity to screen production research.

Phillip McIntyre is a Communication and Media scholar whose academic research is centred on the production phase of the communication process specifically the relationship between creativity and cultural production. Dr McIntyre’s book ‘Creativity and Cultural Production: Issues for Media Practice’ was published by Palgrave MacMillan in 2012 and this has been followed by his new book ‘The Creative System in Action’ (2016) also from the same publisher.

He is a current recipient of an ARC Linkage Grant entitled ‘Creativity and Cultural Production: An Applied Ethnographic Study of New Entrepreneurial Systems in the Creative Industries’. He recently received an Excellence in Research Supervision Award. As well as having a research focus on creativity and innovation, A/Prof McIntyre also teaches media production and media studies courses in the Bachelor of Communication program at the University of Newcastle.


During Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy, held at RMIT University in November 2016, a range of participants were asked three questions. Here are their responses, filmed and edited by Nicholas Hansen.

Jump to top