Laboratory of
Cinema & Philosophy

The Cinema Lab (CineLab) is a research structure within the larger research-oriented NOVA Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA) at the School of Social Sciences and Humanities, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal. CineLab is dedicated to the philosophical thinking of the moving image in its aesthetic, epistemological, political and ethical dimensions. CineLab seeks to generate a productive dialogue between philosophical thinking and film practice. Its main goal is to contribute to the production of a common and fruitful platform where both philosophers and filmmakers can meet to build together new perspectives on film, encompassing the ethical aspects of the medium in terms of social responsibility. CineLab’s main work focuses critically on the way values are conveyed, problematized, or deflated through film practice. The question of values, central to IFILNOVA’s theoretical orientation, is addressed by analyzing how values are represented in films and the study of films as “thought machines”, able to produce values of their own.

The research team is attentive to the numerous ways in which films can “express” philosophy and to the ways philosophy, in turn, may be used as a decisive component for a new cinematographic configuration, a tool to make films that are more relevant and more conscious of their historical and universal implications. The group includes 10 fully integrated researchers and 6 collaborators. CineLab has a Permanent Research Seminar, Workshops, Study Days, and an Annual Conference. It regularly organizes Film Screenings and Debates open to the general public, researchers and students, and is deeply involved with the FCT Ph.D. in Artistic Studies. Several thematic lines are of special interest:

a) Epistemology: the question of truth and its legitimation in cinema.
b) Ethics: issues relating to the Other’s representation through films and the problem of Human Rights.
c) Aesthetics: the aesthetic force’s question peculiar to the cinema and its interrelations with the other arts.
d) Ecology: the question of responsibility vis-à-vis nature and the problem of the separation between nature and culture.

CineLab is also responsible for publishing Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, an international refereed journal dedicated to the philosophical investigation of “cinema”, in its broadest sense as moving image (and image that moves), that is, including video, television, and new media. The journal publishes original essays and critical articles, reviews, conference reports and interviews, and releases original art work in the field of philosophical inquiry into cinema. Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image is one of the leading international publications in the field of Film and Philosophy studies and is fully published online in open access. It is indexed in several international databases such as Scopus, ESCI (Emerging Sources Citation Index, Clarivate Analytics) – Web of Science™, DOAJ (Directory of Open Access Journals), among others. More information here.