Accessibility statement

Professor Andrew Higson awarded €1 million to research contemporary European film and television drama

Posted on 4 February 2014

The recent success of Danish crime series such as 'The Killing' and 'The Bridge' has left many wondering, why do some European film and television dramas travel better than others?

Now a €1 million research project led by Professor Andrew Higson, Head of the Department of Theatre, Film and Television and an expert in national and transnational cinema, seeks to find out.

Mediating Cultural Encounters through European Screens (MeCETES) is a 3-year project conducted in partnership with Professor Ib Bondebjerg (University of Copenhagen, Denmark) and Professor Caroline Pauwels (Vrije Universiteit Brussels, Belgium), and funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA).

Coming at a time when the creative industries in Europe have gained significant cultural and economic importance, the study aims to discover which European films and television dramas travel well within Europe, how they represent other European nations, cultures and identities, and how audiences engage with such screen fictions.

It will combine a broad analysis of contemporary trends in European film and television production, distribution, reception and policy, together with in-depth case studies of particular dramas produced between 2005 and 2015, including films such as The King’s Speech and In Bruges.

As well as overseeing the project as a whole, Professor Andrew Higson will lead a team at the University of York in researching contemporary European cinema. Other members of the York team include: Postdoctoral Research Associate Dr Huw D Jones, academic advisors Professor Duncan Petrie and Dr Hannah Andrews, Project Administrator Denise Mitchell and PhD research student Roderik Smits, whose work focuses on the distribution of crossover films in Europe.

A team at the University of Copenhagen, led by Professor Ib Bondebjerg, will investigate contemporary European television drama, while a third team at Vrije Universiteit Brussels, led by Professor Caroline Pauwels, will focus on European audio-visual policy and issues to do with digital distribution.

The project will also draw on the expertise of an Advisory Board involving academics from across Europe and partners from industry, funding bodies and policy institutions at both a national and European level.

The three teams, who will meet regularly over the next three years, are planning to produce a series of research outputs, including three jointly-authored books, a set of policy briefings and several journal and conference papers, with the aim of influencing debates about the media in Europe. 

Regular news updates and initial research findings, as well as more information about the project, can be found on the MeCETES project website: