Professor of Documentary Film (Tenure Track Associate Professor)

Updated: 4 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 20 Jan 2021

Tallinn University has announced a public competition for the position of Professor of Documentary Film. The elected candidate commences work on the first career level of the position (associate professor) with the aim of supporting their development into a leader of the relevant study and research field in Tallinn University, and moves to the second career level of the position (professor) by way of evaluation.

Position: Associate Professor of Documentary Film (career level I of Tenure Track Professorship)

Academic unit: Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School  (BFM)

Study area: arts

The position will be filled from 01.09.2021.

Description of the field of the academic work:  Documentary is an independent branch of film art. The term contains almost everything non-fiction, starting from factual TV-programs and youtube clips ending with auteur documentaries. Nonfiction storytelling fills people’s every day, it is delivered from TV, Internet and Theatres. Every significant phenomena requires studies, both locally and globally. Discourse of the documentary is in constant move, the theory needs to develop parallel to that. TLU as an Estonian university needs to focus to the developments of Estonian documentary as well.

School context: Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School (BFM) has internationally highly valued track record in the film education field. Established in 2005 it has by now, became a leading film school - a competence centre for audiovisual knowledge and expertise in the Baltics.

At BFM a film, especially documentary film, is the strongest area of artistic research and creation. BFM alumni have won prizes in many international film festivals. 

According to the Tallinn University Development Plan university's  goal is to educate creative professionals and critical and active citizens with diverse media literacy, including the ability to create a state-of-the-art image world to narrate stories and contribute to the development of society as well as enrich Estonian and global culture. TLU is an important centre for learning and development of creative (including film) people.  

For fulfilment of all these high targets set in the Development Plan BFM is establishing a professorship in the field of documentary filmmaking.

The strategic importance of the position

The relevance of the field to the development priorities of TLU, Estonia and Europe : Regarding the first aspect, attention should be paid, in addition to European and TLU policy, to the Estonian level policy in education and research. Regarding education, of importance are, as an example, the Estonian strategy of education and the Administrative Contract (Haldusleping) between TLU and the Ministry of Education and Research. The latter addresses TLU responsibilities in the audiovisual arts and media production.

Documentary films have had a significant role in the Estonian cinematography history since the 1960ies, and gained a lot of international recognition. In the 21st century the role of audiovisual arts has ever increased, therefore the relevance of teaching them has also become more and more important. “Kultuur 2020”, the document describing the cultural policy of Estonia stipulates that “the Baltic Film, Media, Arts and Communication School of Tallinn University will be a modern international school of cinematography and media studies where the education in the study fields of cinematography and audio visual media can be obtained both in Estonian and English.”

In BFM documentary studies in its various forms have actually been taught since the foundation of the school, currently within the curricula of the BA studies of Film Arts, BA studies  of audio visual media and separately at the MA level as an international curriculum.

The administrative contract concluded between the Ministry of Education and Research of Estonia and Tallinn University stipulates that Tallinn University is responsible for teaching  audio visual techniques and media production in the study group of the arts curriculum, it is also its responsibility in the digital and media culture which is one of the focus areas of the development plan of the University.

Requirements for the candidates (incl. professional experience)

Candidates for the tenure system position shall meet at least the requirements of career level I of tenure system professor (associate professor), which are stipulated in Annex 2 and respectively in Annex 9 and 10  to the Employment Relations Rules. As this position is in the field of arts, at least a Master’s degree or an equivalent qualification is required.

Academic activity requirements

The following requirements are considered necessary :

  • considerable demonstrable knowledge in the field of documentary film and documentary filmmaking;
  • a list of significant creative works including nominations and/or awards from international film festivals or film organisations. Research and publication record would be beneficial. (Submitted among the other application documents);
  • experience in international film production;
  • experience in organising international workshops and speciality meetings;
  • active membership in international and national professional and/or creative organisations, expert groups, journal editorial boards, programme committees of international conferences;
  • substantial pedagogical experience in teaching and supervising in the field of film art, especially documentary film;
  • experience in organizing societal outreach activities including collaborations with film industries; 
  • experience in developing and running curricula in the field of documentary film.

Leadership aspects of the role : Professor of Documentary Film is expected to have existing experience in leading and managing creative teams. It is recommendable for the candidate to evidence skills in team and consensus building. 

Job responsibilities

In accordance with Annexes 1, 2 and 10  to the Employment Relations Rules.

Duties are approximately divided between research (40-65%), teaching (20-40%) and internal and external service (10-30%).

Particular work duties linked to the profile, include :

  • development of the study programs both in BA and MA level;
  • co-ordinating the activities of the academic staff;
  • teaching theory of the documentary;
  • supervising creative courses of the documentary;
  • initiating international networking, international relationship (i.e participating in the teaching documentary network of CILECT);
  • promoting documentary studies in the country and abroad;
  • searching for additional funds for financing students’ creative projects;
  • participating in the festivals for film schools.

Representing BFM in the teaching documentary network of CILECT; European Documentary Network, Estonian Documentary Guild.

Ethics. The job holder will cooperate with local ethics committees when planning and executing creative activities and research.

Language skills:

  • Estonian at a high level (C1). An employee who does not speak Estonian is expected to start acquiring proficiency in Estonian upon starting work and achieve language proficiency level B1 within three years and a level comparable to level B2 within five years in order to be able to perform tasks related to institutional development and administrative work in Estonian.
  • English at a high level (C1). The candidate needs to possess high command of English for conducting creative works in an international setting. 

Working load: 1,0 (40 hours a week).

Remuneration: In accordance with TLU Remuneration Regulation  and by negotiations with the director of the School where the position shall be.

In addition to remuneration, a limited allowance is foreseen to the tenure professor, which can be used to cover the costs of research and development expenditure, members of the research team etc related to the position.

Location: Professor is expected to live in Tallinn and work at the premises of Tallinn University.

Required application documents  shall be submitted by 20th January 2021 (incl) to Personnel Office of Tallinn University. A list of significant creative works shall include nominations and/or awards from international film festivals or film organisations. Research and publication record would be beneficial.

Additional information: Please address your administrative questions to konkurss@tlu.ee , and questions on the content to the Administrative Head of the BFM Kaie Viigipuu-Kreintaal, kaie.viigipuu@tlu.ee


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