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School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

Alex Widdowson


Research - Film Studies PhD



Alex Widdowson is the Wellcome Trust PhD candidate on the Autism through Cinema project at Queen Mary University of London. His research is an investigation into the ethical issues associated with the representation of autism in animated documentaries. Widdowson is not autistic, so a significant theme in the research is exploring if and how one can reliably, productively, and ethically represent another group. His practice-based research was initiated with a 10-minute pilot film titled 'Drawing on Autism'. This featured a reflexive discussion between the filmmaker and an autistic participant about the representations of autism presented during the film in which they were simultaneously appearing. Drawing on Autism has screened at multiple OSCAR and BAFTA qualifying festivals and is currently shortlisted for two AHRC Research in Film Awards. For more information on Alex’s practice-based research visit his blog or watch his films on Vimeo.



Widdowson, A., 2018. Animating Documentary Modes. International Journal of Film and Media Arts, 3(1). Available at:

Widdowson, A. 2020. ‘You’re a Complete Mystery to Me’: Meet My Brother Jamie. New York Times, 14/01/2020. Available at:

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