Dr Liani Maasdorp

Senior Lecturer of Screen Production and Film and Television Studies

Dr Liani Maasdorp is a senior lecturer in the Centre for Film and Media Studies at the University of Cape Town. She convenes the Master of Documentary Arts degree programme, undergraduate Screen Production courses and the UCT Sunshine Cinema Film Impact Screening Facilitator short course.

She is the academic director of the UCT TV Studio and the Stepping Stone community engagement video training programme. She is the founder of the ScreenCubator film and media talent developer.

Her primary research interest areas are contemporary documentary film and social change distribution strategy design and implementation (impact producing). She is passionate about studying and teaching about South African film. Her work has been published in the books World Cinema Directory: Africa and Defining the Documentary: Case Studies in the Post-1990 Context, academic journals like Film Philosophy Journalthe South African Theatre Journal, popular publications including The Call Sheet film industry Newspaper, National Geographic TravellerDe Kat Magazine and The Mail and Guardian. Her short pieces on the online platform The Conversation have collectively reached over 300 000 readers to date.

She was one of the producers of Strike a Rock, which opened the Encounters International Documentary Film Festival in 2017 and screened at Sheffield DocFest, IDFA and DIFF. She is on the board of the Documentary Filmmakers’ Association and has served as judge for the SAFTAS and International Emmy Awards.

Liani was the primary investigator on a NRF Community Engagement Research project titled “Processes, dynamics and impacts of youth media training projects” (2015 – 2017); was the academic director of the Bosch Stiftung UCT African Filmmaker Fellowships (2016 - 2018) and served as consultant to the Deutsche Welle Akademie-supported virtual DOC:Co Impact Lab in Colombia (2021). She is co-hosting the first Climate Story Lab in South Africa during 2022-2023 with support from DocSociety and the UMI fund.


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