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Personal profile


Sam Firth is a practicing artist/filmmaker and an early career lecturer with an interest in practice as research in both documentary and fiction film. Her work explores the relationship between content and form in filmmaking and the function of narrative in the creation of memory and our perceptions of the world. Sam is also interested in female perspectives in contemporary cinema. She has a wealth of experience in teaching practice in film education. She has developed educational programmes in schools and for the BFI Film Academy as well as teaching for the Met Film School.  Sam has also developed and worked across a number of community film projects and won awards for her work in this area.

Area of academic expertise - outline

Sam Firth is a visual artist, filmmaker and researcher exploring first person documentary filmmaking and outsider perspectives in fiction filmmaking.Her work explores the boundaries between fiction and documentary the personal and political and science and art.  Sam's work has been exhibited widely at international film festivals and in art galleries.

Sam's first three films form a tryptich of work using first person filmmaking to explore notions of self identity and the constuction of personal narrative. Her film Stay the Same (2012) won International Competition in 2013 at Videoex Experimental film festival in Zurich and a special mention at Stuttgart Filmwinter. Her first film I.D. won the DepicT! Award at Encounters Film Festival and the Human Condition Competition at Chicago International Film Festival in 2010 and has been screened at the Tate Modern in Liverpool.

In 2012 Sam won a special commendation in the Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Award and an award of £10,000 for her work. 

Her most recent film Creeling was her first foray into directing fiction exploring the depiction of female sexuality and sexual desire in cinema. Creeling screened at the Edinburgh Film International film festival.

Alongside her own practice Sam has developed, facilitated and delivered over twelve community film projects across Scotland on across a range of topics and different contexts. This has usually been with children and young people. In 2007 her first project won the best film by under 12's in the First Light Movies (BFI) Film Awards. 

Current research activities

Sam recently directed the short film Creeling which explored notions of boundaries in gender, sexuality and landscapes. Creeling has screened at the Edinburgh Film Festival, Glasgow Short Film Festival and Hamburg Short Film Festival.  

Sam is undertaking a practice as research PhD in filmmaking exploring self identity and the construction of narrative in autobiographical memory. The work which will be a feature length film is an autoethnographic study of how conflicting narratives are managed and appropriated within a family.

The film will use both fiction and documentary making techniques and has funding from the BFI, Wellcome Trust and Creative Scotland. It is being produced by Ivana McKinnon at Stray Bear Films.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

Sam has worked as a community practiioner using filmmaking as an educational tool with children aged 5-18 and delivered numerous projects in rural settings through the First Light Scheme.

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Research Output 2010 2017

  • 2 Digital or Visual Products
  • 1 Exhibition

Being Human: Digital/Analogue

Kosmala, K., Zanki, J., Firth, S., Brisolla, A., López Iglesias, M., Hall, E., Kloos, L., Rahman, R., Kulunčić, A., Plunge, R., Popić, J. & Štefan, V. 23 Nov 2017

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition

human being
media society
media culture
contemporary art

Shakespeare Interpreted: Community Films with Ardnamurchan High School

Firth, S. Sep 2016

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Open Access
domestic violence

The worm inside

Firth, S. 2010

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Open Access
Illness Narratives
Physical Health
First Person


Encounters Film Festival DepicT Special British Mention Prize 2010

Sam Firth (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Film Festivals
Short Film

Human Condition Competition Chicago Film Festival 2

Sam Firth (Recipient), 2011

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Human Condition
Film Festivals

Special Mention

Sam Firth (Recipient), Feb 2014

Prize: Other distinction

Short Film
Film Festivals

Wand 5 Honorary Prize for Concept and Design

Sam Firth (Recipient), 20 Jan 2014

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Wellcome Trust Screenwriting Award Special Commendation

Sam Firth (Recipient), 2013

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2010 2018

  • 16 Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition
  • 1 Participation in workshop, seminar, course

London Short Film Festival 2018

Firth, S. (Examiner)
13 Jan 2018

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

Glasgow Short Film Festival

Firth, S. (Contributor)
16 Mar 2017

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

Being Human: Digital and Analogue. Symposium. 23.11.2017 CCA Glasgow

Kosmala, K. (Chair), Kosmala, K. (Speaker), Grace, A. (Speaker), McGeechan, P. (Speaker), Josip Zanki (Invited speaker), Robert Motyka (Invited speaker), Firth, S. (Speaker), Jerry Padfield (Speaker), Robert Motyka (Invited speaker), Ste McCabe Collective (Invited speaker), Kirk, K. (Invited speaker)
23 Nov 2017

Activity: Participation in workshop, seminar, course


Edinburgh International Film Festival

Firth, S. (Contributor)

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

Hamburg International Short Film Festival Mo & Friese 2017

Firth, S. (Contributor)
Mar 2017

Activity: Types of Public engagement and outreach - Festival/Exhibition

Press / Media

Being Human: Digital and Analogue

Katarzyna Kosmala, Anthony Grace, Paul McGeechan, Sam Firth, David Scott, Josip Zanki & Jerry Padfield


3 items of media coverage

Press/Media: Research

Research Impact from Stay the Same

Sam Firth


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

BBC Good Morning Scotland discussion piece on the project Stay the Same

Sam Firth


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities

Peer Review of Stay the Same

Sam Firth


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Peer review of The Worm Inside

Sam Firth


1 item of media coverage

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities