Sally Shangguan was one of our members from the 1st cohort of the Future Talent Programme. She was then a PhD student at the York University and joined the organisation as an International Film Policy Analyst. She has recently finished and obtained her doctorate degree.
We are proud to share this news here and are lucky to have invited Dr Shangguan to share her success story with us and her aspiration for future career development.
Over the past four years, I have been pursuing a PhD at the University of York. In spite of various challenges that have been posed, I am proud to say that I have been awarded my doctoral degree in July 2023.
My PhD research explores contemporary UK Film Policy in the context of its history. This topic is of great interest to me, as I have had worked in the film and television industry in both China and the UK, the relentless evolution of the industry has always amazed me and become a constant source of my research interest.
Currently, the UK film industry stands in a state of both prosperity and crisis. At these cross-roads, film policymaking matters, as it aims to identify the key challenges facing the film industry and to develop solutions that might re-orientate the development of the industry.
This thesis aims to bring to light the key aspects of contemporary UK film policymaking and examine how they were developed in a historical context. The thesis first examines the key film policies from 1909 to 2010, arching over the historical development of film policies. Subsequently, it focuses on exploring contemporary film policymaking from 2010 to the present and discusses the role of film policies in shaping the contemporary film industry.
Within the context of current affairs and government policy, this thesis particularly seeks the British Film Institute’s (BFI) new role as the lead body for the UK film industry, alongside their international strategies, such as co-production, in the context of geo-political shifts. Additionally, it examines the government and BFI’s interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, this thesis analyses the BFI’s newly launched 10-year strategy, in the face of the challenges of the post-Brexit and post-pandemic era, and how the government and the BFI should develop policy as a tool to support the future film industry.
My goal of the thesis is to provide a comprehensive overview of film policymaking in the UK, emphasising its vital role in shaping the trajectory of the industry -an endeavour that merges scholarly rigor with the passion for film.
After completing my PhD, I have continued my research at the university’s Humanities Research Centre as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Additionally, I have been hired as a Research Assistant for Dr. Nathan Townsend at the School of Art and Creative Technologies to investigate the rise and fall of the UK’s iFeatures Scheme.
My short-term career plan is to equip myself to become an Industry Research Analyst, joining a leading film and television research institute or a policy advisory firm. Alternatively, I aim to take on a Policy Development Role, such as working with the BFI or similar institutions to help shape policies that address industry challenges. My long-term career plan over 5 years may focus on academic contribution or establishing myself as a consultant for film production companies, where I can advise on strategic planning and policy navigation. Eventually, I hope to achieve leadership at Cultural Institutions, or authorship in academia. Meanwhile, I will always be committed to fostering cross-cultural collaboration in order to promote diverse film culture and authentic storytelling in the film industry.
PhD Thesis: “Contemporary UK Film Policy in a Historical Context”
The UK film industry is in prosperity as well as in crisis. At these cross-roads, film policy-making matters, as it aims to identify the key challenges facing the film industry and to develop solutions that might re-orientate the development of the industry. This thesis aims to bring to light the key aspects of contemporary UK film policy-making and examine how they were developed in a historical context.
The thesis first examines the key film policies from 1909 to 2010. Arching over the historical development of film policies, the first two chapters define the dimensions of UK film policy and focus on the economic and socio-cultural issues they have sought to address. They also outline how historical developments have affected contemporary policy-making, including the impacts of two strategic film institutions: the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the now-abolished UK Film Council (UKFC).
The subsequent four chapters explore contemporary film policy-making from 2010 to the present and discuss the role of film policies in shaping the contemporary film industry. First, the British Film Institute (BFI)’s new role as the lead body for the UK film industry is explained, against the backdrop of government policy. Subsequent chapters examine the BFI’s international strategies, including co-production, in the light of geo-political shifts, such as Brexit; and the government and the BFI’s interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic. Finally, this thesis analyses the BFI’s newly launched 10-year strategy, in the face of the challenges of the post-Brexit and post-pandemic era, and how the government and the BFI should develop policy as a tool to support the future film industry.
The research undertaken for the thesis incorporates from policy documents, interviews, newspaper reports, film magazines and other archival sources, as well as existing academic studies. This approach aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of UK film policy-making and its essential role in shaping the industry’s future.
Contact Sally: email@example.com
During the Future Tlanet Programme year, Dr Shangguan co-convened and co-hosted an industry panel for the Chinese Cinema Season in 2021 about film data policy between the UK and China.