Dr. Zhaoyu Zhu

Teaching Fellow in Communication and Cultural Studies

International Communications / Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
Staff Profile Portrait Image



Room 308, IEB


University of Nottingham Ningbo China


199 Taikang East Road, Ningbo, 315100, China


PhD candidate: King’s College London

MA: New York University

BFA: Beijing Film Academy


Zhaoyu Zhu’s research is looking at Chinese film and media. His main expertise is the history of film technology in China. His PhD thesis studies the global technology transfer behind the use of film technology in Maoist China. From 2017 to 2020, he collaborated with Dr. Kirsty Dootson Sinclair (Lecturer of Film Studies, University of St. Andrews) on a project regarding the transnational technology transfer of Technicolor in the UK and China. This research was published on the leading film journal Screen and awarded the debut Screen Biannual Award in 2021.

About this award:


In addition to his academic works, he has gained professional connections with Chinese film industries, film festivals, film-related media. As a reporter, he has written about Shanghai International Film Festival and FIRST International Film Festival Xining for the Australian journal Senses of Cinema. He also interviewed the director of the London East Asia Film Festival and published a report on the UK-Chinese Times (英中时报). In 2020, he worked as a young film critic jury member for the Cinemasia Film Festival in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

He is also a filmmaker working on a documentary project regarding Chinese labourers.


University of Nottingham Ningbo China:

  • Documentary and Reality (INCM3047) 09/2021-
  • Media and Society (INCM1031) 09/2021-

King’s College London:

  • Chinese Cinemas 01/2020-05/2020
  • Intro to Film Studies: Contexts 01/2019-05/2019
  • Intro to Film Studies: Texts 09/2018-12/2018

Research interests

Expertise Summary

Following his PhD research on film technologies in the Mao era, he is currently researching for two projects on how small-gauge formats were appropriated in China, including 16mm pibaoji projectors and the Pathé-Baby 9.5mm home projector. He also works on a project about the Sino-Soviet connection in film technology in the early PRC. He joined in the global project Film Atlas (under the supervision of James Layton, manager of the Celeste Bartos Film Preservation Center at Museum of Modern Art) to complete an online encyclopedia to document the history of film as a physical medium.


In addition, he also writes about Chinese film festivals and Chinese new films. He is the peer reviewer of film journal New Cinemas: Journal of Contemporary Film.

Research Interest

History/Historiography of Film Technology

Chinese Cinemas: Past and Now

Film Festivals

Orcid Account/ID



Journal Publications:

“新中国初期宽银幕影院建设,城市规划,和社会主义都市文化——以北京和上海为例” (“The Construction of Widescreen Cinema in the Beginning Era of the New China, Urban Planning, and the Socialist Urban Culture—Beijing and Shanghai as Case Studies”), 北京电影学院学报 (Journal of Beijing Film Academy), no.5 (2021), 79-85. (Chinese)

“Did Madame Mao Dream in Technicolor? Rethinking Cold War Colour Cinema Through Technicolor’s ‘Chinese Copy,’” (In Collaboration with Kirsty Dootson Sinclair), Screen, 61, no.3 (2020), 343-367. (The Winner of Screen Essay Award 2021)


Book Chapters:

“The Sino-Soviet Connection in Film Technology in the Early PRC, 1949-1960,” Routledge Handbook of Transnational Chinese Cinemas, edited by Chris Berry, Yomi Braester, and Yiman Wang. (In Preparation)

“The Chinese 16mm pibaoji: Rural Cinema, Electric Education, and the Construction of National Subject,” Sixteen at One Hundred (Working Title), edited by Greg Waller and Haidee Wasson. (In Preparation)

“Locating the Chinese Film Stocks,” edited in Film Stock: Histories, Technologies, Aesthetics, edited by Alice Lovejoy, Kirsty Sinclair Dootson and Pansy Duncan. (Submitted)

“8.75mm Format and the Rural Film Projection in Maoist China,” edited in Film Stock: Histories, Technologies, Aesthetics, edited by Alice Lovejoy, Kirsty Sinclair Dootson and Pansy Duncan. (Submitted)

Book Review:

“Book Review: Hollywood Made in China,” Chinese Journal of Communication, 11, no.4 (2018), 473-475.