Dr Shreepali Patel

Director of StoryLab

Faculty:Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: Cambridge

Areas of Expertise: Media arts , Film and television production , Arts and creative industries

Research Supervision:Yes

Shreepali is Director of the StoryLab Research Institute.  Her research focuses on multimodal narratives, audio-visual technologies, user experience and multiplatform deliveries. Her industry experience as a filmmaker includes the BBC, C4, C5 and HBO, drama, promos and commercials, and working on a number of UK based and international feature films.



With over 30 broadcast documentaries, drama, BBC Radio 4 documentaries and moving image exhibitions to her name (including the BAFTA award winning Dawn), Shreepali has over 25 years of extensive filmmaking experience including filming worldwide and negotiating access to and filming in sensitive, hostile environments to high profile political and celebrity arenas.

Her work crosses genres (documentary, drama, artist moving image, promos and commercials) and platforms (multiscreen, cinema, exhibition, interactive and immersive digital media). She formed Eyeline Films with producer/director Geoffrey Smith. The company’s first feature documentary was the Emmy award winning The English Surgeon, with an original soundtrack by Nick Cave.

Her most recent project, The Crossing was created in collaboration with Colin Burrows (Special Treats) and Patron Emma Thompson working with a number of industry specialists including drone operators The Helicopter Girls and cinematographers Nicola Daley and Tim Sidell.

Shreepali completed her post-graduate studies at Cardiff University, trained with the BBC and the National Film and Television School.

Research interests

Shreepali’s academic research builds on her professional, creative and technical experience with a focus on existing and emerging audio-visual technologies, end user experience and distribution platforms.  Her research output includes both traditional and practice based moving image publications. She has facilitated a number of cross-disciplinary collaborations including the Mayo Clinic and Cambridge University Hospitals, The Gurdon Institute  and workshops (Digital Humanities Network and The Computer Laboratory, Cambridge). Her most recent project on human trafficking, The Crossing nominated for the AHRC Research Film of Year was defined as 'ambitious and deftly executed' and 'pushing the boundaries of film and communication'.

  • Practice research (film)
  • Counter-culture and identity
  • Documentary
  • Multimodal narratives and their role in transforming and informing society
  • Existing and emerging audio and visual technologies
  • User experience
  • Platforms of delivery (single, multiscreen, interactive, exhibition spaces)

Areas of research supervision

  • Documentary
  • Multimodal narratives
  • Film
  • User experience and film
  • Multiplatform deliveries

Current PhD projects:

  • Representations of Slavery, Family, History and Inherited Guilt (Film, Photography and script)
  • Examining the Use of Picture Books For Children dealing with bereavement and loss in Saudia Arabia (practice based Illustration)
  • Virtual Reality Filmmaking - New and Traditional modes of influence (practice based - film)
  • Narrative Set, Character and Mise En Scene in Narrative Cinema


  • PhD by Published Work (Art) Cambridge School of Art, ARU
  • MscEcon Media Studies, Cardiff University
  • BSc Econ Politics, Industrial Relations and Economics, Cardiff University
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning

Memberships, editorial boards

  • Fellow, Higher Education Authority
  • Associate Editor, The International Journal of the Arts
  • BAFTSS (British Association of Film, Television and Screen Studies)
  • MeCCSA (Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association)
  • Cambridge Wireless (CoDE/StoryLab Founding Member)
  • National Association of Higher Education Moving Image
  • SCSMI (Society of Cognitive Studies of Moving Image)
  • Board Member, Ruskin Gallery Committee
  • LENS, Documentary, Reportage and Research Group, Cambridge School of Art
  • Founding member of Wired (Audiovisual SIG for Creative Front)
  • Board member, Cambridge Film Consortium

Research grants, consultancy, knowledge exchange

  • Ways of Machine Seeing, co-organiser, Digital Humanities Network, The Computer Lab and StoryLab. 2017.
  • Crossing Roads, PIER & StoryLab. 2017.
  • StoryLab Symposium, Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute. 2017.
  • The Euro-Mediterranean Documentary Market, Sitges, Spain. Consultant global marketing strategies & funding. 2016.
  • IKE - Innovation in the Arts, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. 2016.
  • First & Seven Pleats, Random Acts (C4, Screen South, Arts Council). Directing Consultant. 2015.
  • From Documentary to Reality (Rig TV v 'Immersive Filmmaking') Anhui Broadcast Television knowledge exchange workshop, Cambridge. 2015
  • Horizon 2020 Sandpit, Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. 2013.
  • NESTA & NFTS Selection Committee for the allocation of funding for creative business start ups.
  • Directing Change: Women in Film and Television with Roger Michell, Göteburg Film Festival, Sweden.
  • Employing Film: The Power of Documentary and Cinematography, Corpus Christie, University of Cambridge. 2011.

Selected recent publications

  • Patel, S. Toulson, R and Azuaje, Is this the 'beginning of a beautiful friendship' or a 'failure to communicate'? A Case Study Analysis of methodological approaches to interdisciplinary research.'  Filmmaking in the Academy - Special Issue for Journal of Media Practice (2018, publication pending)
  • Patel, S. 'How does the legal and security regulations governing drone filming effect the creative visual language of Autonomous Art Systems?' for Autonomous Art Systems: Opportunities, Pitfalls and Implications (2017, publication pending)
  • Patel, S. The Crossing (film, 2016)
  • Patel, S. Jackson S, Wallis-Redworth, M & Rose, L (2017) Art and Science: Promoting Empathy Through Film, British Journal of Midwifery, London: Mark Allen Publishing (Vol 25, No11, 2017)
  • Patel, S. Post-Human Point of View: Using Drones for Creative Communication (film, 2016)
  • Patel & Toulson, The Bottom Line (film, 2016)
  • De Groen, P.C., Patel, S., Lopez, M., Szewczynski, M., & Toulson, E.R. 'Combining Science with Art to Educate and Motivate Patients prior to Colorectal Cancer Screening', Chapter in Volume 59 of the series Smart Innovation and Technologies. ISSN 2190-3018 (2016)
  • Patel, S. Waltzing & Circus (promos, 2016)
  • Patel, S. and Toulson, E.R., (2014) Educating and Enhancing Compassion, Emotion and Reflective Professional Practice through Contemporary Digital Filmmaking, SMART Digital Futures, IOS Press ISBN.978614994046
  • Patel, S. The Golden Window (film, 2014)
  • Patel, S. Whose Art Is It Anyway? Investigating the Impact of the Active Viewer on the Authorship of the Art Form, The Arts in Society ISSN 2326-9987 (2013)

Recent presentations and conferences

  • Patel, S., 2017. The Function of Experience within Practice-based Research presented at National Association for Higher Education in Moving Image (NAHEMI), Digital Transformations, Talking Shop, London College of Communication, London
  • Patel, S., 2017. Ways of Machine Seeing
  • Patel, S., 2017. Crossing Roads, Cambridge. Collaborative workshop with stakeholders on sex trafficking. Screening on June 20th 2017
  • Patel, S., 2017. Using Artistic Visual Narratives in Music Videos. Symposium on 21st Century Music Practices: Sound and Vision, London Southbank University Sonic Research Group and Creative and Digital Economies Institute, London. April 2017
  • Patel, S., 2016. Ways of Machine Seeing – Digital Methods Workshop. Cambridge University
  • Patel, S., 2016. Lifeline: A Focus on Storytelling in a Rapidly Changing Media Landscape (NAHEMI) Talking Shop, London
  • Patel, S., 2016. Tools for Thought: From Traditional to Interactive Documentary i-Docs Symposium, Bristol
  • Patel, S., 2016. Communicate: 360 degree Presentation: The Crossing AHRC Common Ground Event, York
  • Patel, S., 2016.  Case Studies on Creative Communication: The Crossing Creative Communication Conference, CoDE, ARU
  • Patel, S. and Jackson, S., 2015. Innovative Practice Using Creative Communication In Children’s Nursing Innovative Practice in Children’s Nursing Conference, ARU
  • Chania, Crete, Patel, and Toulson, 2014. Educating and Enhancing Compassion, Emotion and Reflective Professional Practice through Contemporary Digital Filmmaking KES STET-14
  • Patel, S. and Austin, T., 2014. The Golden Window multi-screen gallery screening – Cambridge Festival of Science, screening and talk, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge School of Art, Anglia Ruskin University
  • Patel, S., 2013. Investigating the Impact of the ‘Active Viewer’ on the Authorship of the Art Form paper presented EOTVOS International Conference Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary
  • Patel, S. and Jackson, S., 2013. The Golden Window, conference screening This Is My Body, Centre For Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities and Addenbrooke's NHS Trust– Cambridge University
  • Patel, S. and Jackson, S., 2013. The Golden Window – Cambridge Festival Of Ideas, screening and talk, Arts Picturehouse
  • Patel, S., 2013. Politics of Art: Whose Art Is It Anyway? Investigating the Impact of 'Active Viewer' on the Authorship on the Art Form presented at International Conference on the Arts in Society, EOTVOS International Conference Budapest, Hungary
  • Patel, S., 2012. Poster presentation on digital technologies, The Golden Window, AHRC MOOT, London
  • Patel, S., 2011. Documentary, guest Lecture, Corpus Christi, Cambridge University
  • Patel, S., 2011. The English Surgeon, guest lecture and screening, Jesus College Cambridge University

Media experience

Local, national and international press including: Screen International, The Observer, The Conversation, BBC, HBO