Michael Chanan

Photo: Alvaro Minguito

Michael Chanan is a seasoned documentarist, writer and Professor of Film & Video at the University of Roehampton, London. His first films were documentaries on contemporary music for BBC Television in the early 1970s. After a stint teaching film at the then Polytechnic of Central London, he made a number of documentaries on Latin American subjects, mainly for Channel Four. He returned to teaching in the 90s, first in the film school at the then London College of Printing (1990-2000), then as Professor of Cultural Studies at the University of the West of England until moving to Roehampton in 2007. His books include studies of early cinema, Cuban cinema, the social history of music, the history of recording, and most recently, ‘The Politics of Documentary’. He writes extensively on Latin American film and video and other current topics.

His films over the last fifteen years have mostly been academically funded, including ‘Detroit Ruin of a City’ (2005), ‘The American Who Electrified Russia’ (2008). In 2011 he became the New Statesman’s first video blogger, resulting in ‘Chronicle of Protest’ (2011). This was followed by ‘Secret City’ (2012) and ‘Interrupted Memory’ (2013).

Many of his short writings and films can be found on his website and he blogs at Putney Debater.