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Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Dr Mariagiulia Grassilli

MA in International Relations and Development Studies (University of East Anglia), PhD in Migration Studies (Sussex University)


Mariagiulia Grassilli
Department of Anthropology and Sociology

Research Associate

Dr Mariagiulia Grassilli
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Giulia Grassilli. Artistic Director of Human Rights Nights, annual festival on human rights in Italy, Chair of Human Rights Film Network (global network of human rights film festivals) and Officina Cinema South-East, she is a freelance at international level for social change through films and arts. Since 2000 she is consultant for world cinema and awareness raising communication campaigns on migration, human rights and development for film institutions (Cineteca di Bologna), festivals (Venice Film Festival, Africa at the Pictures UK), film productions (Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation), public institutions and NGOs (Bologna Municipality, Oxfam GB - Equals 2011, AfricanBamba, Senegal). She holds an MA in International Relations and Development Studies (University of East Anglia) and a  PhD in Migration Studies (Sussex University) and has taught at  University of Bologna, Frei Universitat Bozen and Denver University. Currently she is Research Associate at SOAS University in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology.


Human Rights Nights Festival, Cineteca di Bologna, Human Rights Film Network


Research interests span from issues of representation and dynamics of production in World cinema – with a particular focus on Human Rights Cinema, Migrant and Minority  Cinema, African and Arab Cinema – to the role of film festivals for community building, networking and identity at a local-global level, up to recent interest in World Cinema Film Archives, developed out of a consultancy for the leading activity of the Cineteca di Bologna in the field, towards the newly created World Cinema Foundation by Martin Scorsese.

To study how a variety of representations in these emerging arenas of filmmaking are shaped by the socio-cultural contexts in which they are produced and disseminated.  Building on the developing field of research known as ethnography of media, his work focuses on the social practices that have developed over the last decade in shaping these genres of film – which might include documentary as well as Third or Fourth world cinema -- and the institutions that now shape and direct it, as well as the impact that this kind of filmmaking has had in drawing attention to areas requiring urgent attention in the world.

Anthropology of cinema, cinema and human rights, representation of diversity and cultural participation, world cinema, film festivals, communication campaigns for social change.