Kersti Grunditz Brennan’s public defence

The public defence of Kersti Grunditz Brennan’s doctoral project "Beyond Cut and Join – Expanding the creative role of film editing", at Stockholm University of the Arts, will take place on 26 April 2023.

The public defense includes a brief presentation of the research by doctoral student Kersti Grunditz Brennan. It is therefore recommended to review the documented artistic research project (doctoral thesis) materials online prior to the public defence. 

The Artistic PhD Project by Kersti Grunditz Brennan is now published

Follow the public defence live here: (Streaming starts on 26 April).


Ask question in the chat during the Public defence

Ilona Hongisto

Examination committee:
Maarten Coëgnarts
Filipe Roque do Vale
Mieke Bernink
Sher Doruff (deputy)

Principal supervisor:
Juliette Mapp

Karen Pearlman

Chair of defence: 
Cecilia Roos, Vice-Rector for Research at SKH.

Scheduled proceedings:

• 13:00 – Welcome by Maria Hedman Hvitfeldt, Head of Department.
• Introduction by chair Cecilia Roos, Vice-Rector of Research Center.
• 13:10 – presentation of research by Kersti Grunditz Brennan, PhD candidate. 
• 13:30 – summary of the doctoral project (20 mins) by Ilona Hongisto, opponent, 
• 13:50 – questions and conversation between Ilona Hongisto and Kersti Grunditz Brennan.
• 14:30 – Pause (25 min). Refreshments in the foyer.
• 14:55 – Questions from committee to candidate.
• 15:40 – Questions from public to candidate.
• Pause (indefinite). Committee deliberates privately, refreshments in foyer.
• Committee announces the results in the foyer.

Reception in the foyer until 19:00.


Kersti Grunditz Brennan has explored film form in documentary and fiction live action, short and long formats, narrative cinema, archival based stories, essays and experimental hybrids for the past 20 years; for cinema, other art contexts, through research and education. She holds an MFA in choreography, is an established film editor and has directed several documentaries.
List of works:

She takes on many different creative and educational roles in film processes ranging from movies, TV, art exhibits and stage performances to workshops, research expositions, conference presentations and academic writing. She joined the research community at Stockholm University of the Arts in 2017, while holding a position as assistant professor of film editing at the Film and media department. Her doctoral thesis will be made public on 24 March 2023 and can be found online in the Research Catalogue and DiVA. 

External Opponent 

Ilona Hongisto is professor in Film Studies at Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. She was a Senior Lecturer in Media Studies at Macquarie University. Through an honorary affiliation at Macquarie, Ilona continues to collaborate with her Australian colleagues. Originally from Finland, she is also affiliated with the University of Turku, where she is a Docent (Adjunct Professor) in Media Theory and Aesthetics, and Aalto University, Helsinki, where she is a Docent in Documentary Film. Ilona defended her PhD at the University of Turku in 2011.

Within the discipline of Film Studies, Ilona’s work falls under several broad categories. One category is experimental film and video art and it concerns the intertwinement of movement and experimental aesthetic forms – from the history of avant-garde film to digital projections in gallery spaces. Another is documentary theory and practice, where the emphasis is on conceptualizing documentary film from the point of view of experimentation. Ilona argues that documentaries not only show and tell what has been or what is; they also experiment with the limits of the real, shape its consistency and push reality to actualize in new ways.

Examination Committee Members 

Maarten Coëgnarts is Assistant Professor in Film Studies and Visual Culture at the University of Antwerp (Belgium) and Research Fellow at the Department of Art History and Image Studies at the University of the Free State (South Africa). His research on embodied cognition, metaphor and cinema has been published in various peer-reviewed journals including Art & Perception, Cinéma & Cie, Image [&] Narrative, Metaphor and Symbol, New Review of Film and Television Studies and Projections. He is co-editor of the book Embodied Cognition and Cinema (Leuven University Press, 2015), and author of Film as Embodied Art: Bodily Meaning in the Cinema of Stanley Kubrick (Academic Studies Press, 2019). He is currently involved in a European funded pilot project entitled “Artistic Research and Cognitive Film Studies: Towards a Transdisciplinary Understanding of Cinema” which aims at furthering transdisciplinary collaboration between artistic researchers from different film schools in Europe (Brussels, Dublin, Lisbon, Tallinn) and cognitive scholars working in the field of media- and film studies.

Filipe Roque do Vale is a Film editing and film language teacher at Lusófona University, Lisbon. Filipe has twenty years of teaching experience in national and international programs. He is now part of Film EU – European Universities Alliance for Film and Media Arts. He is the manager of facilities, resources and equipment at the Film and Media Arts Department at the University.

At a young age, he directed short films and worked on interactive projects. Now, running parallel to his academic career, he still works as a film editor. Filipe has been working on features, documentaries, short films, and music videos.

He has published several articles and given conference presentation within the subject area, most recently “The Abstract Machine: A Framework for Creative Film Editing” published in IFM2022 Conference Presentation. 

Mieke Bernink has been Head of Research (Lector) at the Netherlands Film Academy since September 2008, when she was invited to set up a Master’s programme at the Film Academy. She thus founded the renowned 2-year international research Master ‘Artistic Research in and through Cinema’, which she led until September 2021. Alongside her continuing interest as Head of Research in the combination of artistic research and pedagogy, and its further development in a context of experimentation, collaboration and sharing, her focus as Head of Research is also on creating the possibilities for makers, teachers, and students more generally to understand, develop and share their practices as (artistic) research.

Since 2018, Mieke Bernink combines her position as Head of Research at the Netherlands Film Academy with being the Head of the Artist in Residence-programme of the Amsterdam University of the Arts, the umbrella-organisation of six Amsterdam art schools, of which the Film Academy is one. In this position, she stimulates, assesses, and facilitates initiatives of the different art schools to work with artists in residence to stimulate curriculum innovation.

Substitute committee member, Sher Doruff, PhD works in the visual, digital, and performance arts in a variety of capacities. For the past twenty years her work has been situated in the expanded field of artistic research practice as an artist, writer, mentor, and supervisor. Her research practice explores fabulation and fictive approaches to writing in and through artistic research. She mentors and supervises artist PhD candidates in several European university programs including the Amsterdam University of the Arts, Stockholm University of the Arts, Leiden University, Zurich University of the Arts, Roehampton University, Wellington University among others. Her novella Last Year at Betty and Bob’s An Actual Occasion (2021) completes the Betty and Bob trilogy, published by 3Ecologies/punctum books. She has published numerous texts in academic and artistic contexts.