Lisa French is a senior member of academic staff in the School of Media and Communication. She has taught in undergraduate and postgraduate Cinema Studies, Media, and Communication courses (both onshore and offshore).
Lisa’s research interests are largely in Australian film, cinema studies, and gender, and she has published widely in these fields in local and international journals. Her PhD and MA research were both interested in gender and Australian film; her PhD is titled 'Centring the female: the articulation of female experience in the films of Jane Campion'; and her MA explored the question of whether '(Do) Contemporary Australian Women Filmmakers Share a Feminist Perspective in their Work?'.
Research projects and consultancy
Lisa has consulted to industry organisations such as The Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), The Australian Film Institute (AFI), and the Australian Writers Guild (AWG). She is currently an assessor for the Australian Research Council (ARC).
She is the Chair of the Editorial Board of the award winning monograph series, The Moving Image, Australia’s premier series of monographs on film, television and multimedia, covering current practice, history, theory, analysis and criticism.
Lisa worked on a linkage project titled Timescopes, developed by Dr David Crean. Timescopes is an Interactive Multimedia CD-ROM for Australian Historical Studies. It explores the history of Australia through images and contains an extensive array of media images and footage of key events in Australian history
In 2012 she completed a research project and a report titled 'Women in the Victorian Film, Television and Related Industries'. This project investigates the quality of the working lives of Victorian women in the film, television and related industries (including digital media and games). Through a survey of 135 people working in the Victorian audiovisual industries (conducted in November 2010 and collated finally in the report released in 2012), this research examined the participation of women in these industries and has gathered data on areas such as: issues effecting women, the progress of women in various sectors, training, career pathways, employment security and mobility.
Since 2013 Lisa has been working with UNESCO and has contributed to the writing of several of UNESCO’s action plans on media and gender, including the plan for the Asian Pacific chapter of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) written in Bali (2014).
She is part of three research clusters at RMIT:
Global Indigeneity and Reconciliation Program (Global Cities Research Institute)
The Women and Work Research Cluster (Centre for Sustainable Organisations and Work)
She has taught in the following programs:
- COMM2321 Media Industries 2
- COMM2053 New Communication Technologies
- COMM1033 Australian Cinema
- COMM1114 Cinema: Industry Culture and Policy
- HM206 Global Culture and Local Identity
- COMM2072 Reading Media Texts
- COMM1031 Introduction to Cinema
- COMM1036 Histories of Film Theory
- COMM1037 Applied Film Research
- COMM1035 Asian Cinemas
Lisa has made a contribution to the leadership of RMIT through service on the RMIT University Academic Board, RMIT University Research Committee, the School of Media & Communications Research Committee and has served on the School of Media and Communication Teaching and Learning Committee, and Research and Innovation Committee; and both the Student Progress Committee (SSCC) and Student, Staff Consultative Committee (Media).
Lisa is particularly interested in gender and feminism, Australian film (including the Australian film industry), and Indigeneity and the cinema, but is also involved in, and able to supervise candidates in Cinema Studies, film production as creative production research, Media Studies and Cultural Studies.
Accomplishments linked to research
The Achievement of excellence in teaching is evidenced by both national (2008 and 2011 Australian Learning and Teaching Council citations), and institutional (2007 RMIT Teaching Awards Commendation), recognition/benchmarks. The 2011 ALTC citation was: “For sustained leadership in research-led Cinema Studies and Media curricula that fosters independent learning and innovation through student-centred, industry-engaged learning”.
- 2011 Citation for Outstanding Contributions to Student Learning
Recognition of Research Excellence demonstrated by recent attainments such as winning several RMIT Research Awards including: the 2010 Award for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching and Research ($10,000); the 2009 ‘Malcolm Moore Industry Research Grant’ ($35,000); and the 2008 Permezel Memorial Award ($5000) for “For the excellence of research and commitment to developing international world-class links in Media and Cinema Studies”; as well as the School of Media and Communications Indigenous Knowledge and Research Fellowship (2011). RMIT Research Awards
Industry Engagement has been and continues to be promoted through Lisa’s work to establish and manage partnerships between RMIT and industry. Since 2007 she has negotiated and has managed a partnership between the Australian Writer’s Guild, Women in Film and Television, and The Australian Director’s Guild. The vision for this has been to create opportunities for students and the industry to come together. An important focus has been to establish what key issues are affecting the industry, and to suggest possible opportunities for industry relevant research — so that RMIT students and staff can create opportunities to interact with and potentially lead the industry. These partnerships have resulted in ongoing collaborations, events and industry led research.
See for example the first event: Industry Engagement outline in the Media and Communications Capability statement (PDF 1.77 MB see page 6)
PhD, School of Applied Communication, RMIT University, City campus, 2007
MA, La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, 1995
GradDip (Ed Tech), Victoria College, Toorak Campus, 1987
BEd, Victoria College, Rusden Campus, 1983
Lisa’s professional history includes a broad range of experiences in screen culture, including extensive curatorial, leadership and management experience. She was the Director of the St Kilda Film Festival for three years, and served nine years as a Director of the national screen culture body, the Australian Film Institute (AFI). Her film projects include producing the film Birth of a Film Festival (2003), a film about the first Melbourne International Film Festival. She recently worked with six industry partners on a research project related to the status and representation of women in the Victorian film and television industries (including digital media and games).
Lisa is the Chair of the Editorial Board of the monograph series The Moving Image. She is, or has acted as a referee for numerous refereed journals including Continuum, Senses of Cinema, Metro, Screening the Past, Les Cahiers du CiClaS, and she has undertaken peer assessment of creative work for The Australian Screen Production Education and Research Association (ASPERA). She is currently an assessor for the Australian Research Council (ARC), a professionally accredited member of The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) and was awarded a lifetime membership of The Australian Film Institute (AFI) in 2005. She holds membership of numerous other organisations and has served on their boards, including The Melbourne International Film Festival (MIFF), and Women In Film & Television (WIFT), The Australian Teachers of Media (ATOM) and The International Documentary Conference and Film Festival (AIDC).
Media experts guide
View Lisa's details on the RMIT experts guide
- French, L. (2019). Women documentary filmmakers as transnational "advocate change agents", Mujeres documentalistas y su rol como agentes de cambio transnacionales In: INTERdisciplina, 7, 15 - 29
- French, L. (2019). Jane Campion: Girlshine and the Local/Global Auteur In: A Companion to Australian Cinema, Wiley-Blackwell, United States
- French, L.,Montiel, A.,Padovani, C.,Poole, M., et al, . (2019). Gender Media and ICTs: New Approaches for research, education and training. In: UNESCO Paris, France
- French, L. (2018). Women in the director's chair: the 'female gaze' in documentary film In: Female Authorship and the Documentary Image Theory, Practice and Aesthetics, Edinburgh University Press, United Kingdom
- French, L. (2017). Melbourne's Capitol Theatre: "the best cinema that has ever been built or is ever likely to be built" In: Senses of Cinema, , 1 - 20
- French, L. (2015). Shopping for identity: Postmodern fl�neuses in sex and the city and in the cut In: Consumerism on TV Popular Media from the 1950s to the Present, Ashgate Publishing, Surrey, England
- French, L. (2015). The Screenwriting of Jane Campion: Female-centered Stories, characters and perspectives In: Women Screenwriters: an International Guide, Palgrave MacMillian, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
- French, L.,Poole, M. (2015). Women writers on the Australian screen In: Women Screenwriters: an International Guide, Palgrave MacMillian, Basingstoke, United Kingdom
- French, L. (2015). Media in Support of Sustainable Development and a Culture of Peace: Media Literacies for Empowering Females and Reducing Gender Inequalities In: UNESCO Galuh II no 5, Kebayoran Baru Jakarta Indonesia
- French, L. (2015). Lisa French, Portfolio of 'writing in the press' 2014-2015 In: Senses of Cinema & The Conversation Melbourne, Australia
1 PhD Current Supervisions4 PhD Completions and 3 Masters by Research Completions