Dr Pratap Rughani

National Teaching Fellow 2013

Dr Pratap Rughani has been making documentary films for national and international broadcast for 27 years. He interleaves film practice with writing, teaching and learning, with a particular focus on curriculum development that integrates teaching, research and practice on BA and MA programmes at University of the Arts London, Goldsmiths’ College, Birkbeck and City University.

He is Vice-Chair of the Committee of the Association of National Teaching Fellows with a focus on looking ahead at future developments and scoping ANTF responses to national consultations. His research interests unpack documentary film practice; the relationship of ethics to aesthetics and the value of 'not knowing' as a spur to creative thought. 

He developed new directors’ training for BBC TV and, with Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) support, co-led the Moving Image Research Network that launched the peer-reviewed Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ). He combines teaching and filmmaking practice with critical discussion of Documentary and Film Studies in films, book chapters, academic journals and journalism. He is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Media Practice and Spark and the International Advisory Board of the Moving Image Review and Art Journal (MIRAJ) and the Institute of Communication Ethics. He has written for The Independent, The Observer and The Times and co-edited New Internationalist magazine

He sees documentary film as an arena to broker dialogue and inter-cultural communication. He has made more than thirty documentaries for BBC TV, the British Council, Channel 4 and for gallery spaces with wide-ranging aesthetic and story-telling styles from investigative and environmental films to gallery installations and festival exhibitions. Recognition of his documentary film work includes the RIMA award for New Model Army, about the experiences of Black and Asian soldiers in the British Army and Missoula's environmental festival award for Africa's Big Game (BBC 2). He filmed in the aftermath of many moments of tension or emergence from conflict including in Native America, Rwanda, Northern Ireland, Aboriginal Australia and across the Islamic world. He has written reflexively, exploring questions of reportage and violence in the aftermath of atrocity and at the Truth and Reconciliation in the new South Africa. He was a BBC trainee and script editor for BBC Drama, commissioning new writers.

Pratap has a particular interest in the evolution of Documentary Studies as a discipline. His focus includes questions of freedom and responsibility; observational documentary; film and media ethics; post-colonial thought and inter-cultural communication. He has extensive supervision experience at BA, MA and PhD levels with an emphasis on working inclusively with diverse groups. He developed and runs University of the Arts London’s first post-graduate filmmaking course: MA Documentary Film. He is a trustee of the environmental and development charity Pragya, and photographer for the education and development charity, The Karuna Trust, where he is also a Trustee. 

His research themes are: documentary and art practice; ethics; film; inter-cultural communication and post-colonial thought.

Job title: 
MA Course Leader
Institution or Organisation: 
University of the Arts London
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