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Dr. Roderik Smits

Research Fellow in Film and Media Studies

Communication Department, University Carlos III of Madrid

Research Interests

My research focuses on the changing nature of the film industry. It provides a spotlight on film distribution and film exhibition as rapidly developing research areas in the context of the digital revolution. I am particularly interested in the role of gatekeepers who exert control over the process of enabling and disabling access to films in international markets.

Current Research Projects

My own research project Online Platforms and Film Circulation (January 2020 - February 2025) draws on in-depth analysis of online platforms, expert interviews and audience research. The project examines how VOD platforms engage with and support non-mainstream, specialised films to exploit their potential in the online market.

I am also a project member of the research project Diversity and Subscription Video-on-Demand Services (2020-2024). It is the first major study to study how five powerful US-owned platforms (Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and Disney+) impact on the production and circulation of audiovisual works in the Spanish market.


I have been a researcher for various major projects in the past eight years:


I completed my PhD in Film Studies at the University of York (2014-2018) and subsequently worked as post-doctoral researcher at Cardiff University (2019) and Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF (2020).

Industry Engagement

I am keen to make an impact beyond the academy. I am currently working together with Europa Distribution on an industry report about online film circulation. In 2021, I worked together with Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece) on an industry study to analyse how online developments and COVID-19 are impacting on European film festivals.


I participated as a speaker and moderator in several industry events organised by Creative Europe (EU), Thessaloniki International Film Festival (Greece), LIGHTS Frankfurt International Film Festival (Germany) and Film Expo South (UK). I also contributed as a consultant and researcher to film industry reports for Creative Europe and the British Film Institute. 

Editorial Duties

I am a reviewer for publishers such as Routlegde, Bloomsbury and Palgrave, and for journals such as Poetics, Studies in European Cinema, Television & New Media, NECSUS and L’avventura. I am also a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for the journal Arts and the Market, published by Emerald Insight.

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