Soft Power, Cinema and the BRICS


Management and Coordination

The network steering committee will be made up of PI Stephanie Dennison (PI), Rachel Dwyer (CO-I), researchers from the centre for World Cinemas at Leeds (Paul CookeVlad Strukov and Chris Homewood, with research specialisms in South African cinema, Russian cinema and Chinese/Hollywood co-productions respectively), along with Alessandra Meleiro, President of Instituto Iniciativa Cultural, Brazil, the network’s principle industry partner, and Song Hwee Lim (Chinese University of Hong Kong). 

Network Founding Members

As well as the aforementioned Steering committee members, confirmed academic network members have been selected based on their research interests in the area of cinema and soft power in BRICS countries, in a concerted effort to bring together for the first time the foremost scholars on this topic. They are listed here with their respective research area in brackets: 

Academic network members:

Ying Zhu, CUNY, Staten Island (China);

Stephen Norris, Miami University of Ohio (Russia);

Lindiwe Dovey, SOAS (South Africa);

Daya Thussu, Westminster (India);

Isolde Standish, SOAS (East Asia/World Cinema);

Xiaoning Lu, SOAS (China)

Mariana Liz, Leeds (EU film policy/relations with BRICS); 

Dunja Fehimovic, Lecturer in Spanish, University of Newcastle (Nation Branding in Latin America)

Ashvin Devasundaram, Lecturer in World Cinema, Queen Mary (London) (India)

Yanling Yang, PhD candidate, Leeds (China); 

Robert Saunders, Farmingdale (Russia)

Marcelo Ikeda (Brazil; also worked for Brazilian Film Agency ANCINE for 10 years and is a filmmaker/film critic);

Cesar Jiménez Martinez, PhD candidate working on the international visibility of Brazil at LSE.


Juily Mangharmalani, Master in Image and Sound (Brazil), film director and producer and specialist in Indian Cinema; 


The twenty two-strong professional network membership has been selected according to BRICS coverage and the key project areas of film and cultural production, criticism and exhibition, based on the work they have previously carried out with key academic network members, what they can bring to bear on the focused set of research questions, and their ability and willingness to ensure as wide an impact for the network’s research findings as possible. Confirmed non-academic network members are: 

Professional members:

Alessandra Meleiro (see above); 

Debora Ivanov, Director of ANCINE (Brazil’s Film Agency) and Film producer (Brazil);

Wenhong Yang, ex-Vice President of Shanghai Film and Media Group and film producer (China);

Zama Mkosi, CEO of National Film and Video Foundation (South Africa);

Renata Almeida, Director of the Mostra Internacional de Sao Paulo (Sao Paulo Film Festival); 

Aleksei Popogrebskii, Russian filmmaker;

Eric Klug (Deputy Director of British Council, Sao Paulo); 

Ciro Dias, CEO of Imagem Corporativa (PR company, Brazil); 

Vijay Krishna Acharya (Indian filmmaker/scriptwriter);

Dmitrii Peskov, government adviser on cultural policy and education, director of the Strategic Association Agency think tank; 

David Wilson, Director of Bradford UNESCO City of Film;

Bill Lawrence, CEO of Reel Solutions (Bradford);

Alex King, Head of Programming at Leeds International Film Festival;

Lalit Mohan Joshi, Director of South Asian Cinema Foundation in London and documentary filmmaker;

Elena Stishova, Moscow, film critic and editor of 'the Art of Film' [Iskusstvo Kino], Russia's major film studies journal;

Alisa Prudnikova, Director of the Yekaterinburg Museum of Contemporary Art, specialising in film; 

Anamaria Boschi, Executive Director of the BRAPEQ Brazilian Film Festival in China;

Shobhan Saxena, film critic and journalist, Times of India;


Florência Costa, Brazil-based journalist and media consultant and author of Os Indianos;

Alessandra Scangarelli Brites, Master in International Strategic Studies  (Brazil) and Russian film curator;

Mauricio Savarese, Brazilian journalist (Associated Press) and blogger on Brazil's image abroad;

Daniel Buarque, Brazilian journalist (UOL) and founder of Blog do Brasilianismo.


Go back to project overview.