Sapientia University, Department of Film, Photography and Media
Magyar | Română | English

Research / Research programs /previous |

Affective Intermediality. Cinema between Media, Sensation and Reality

  • Exploratory Research Project supported by a grant of the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Digitization, CNCS - UEFISCDI, project number PN-III-P4-PCE-2021-1297, within PNCDI III, 01. 06. 2022 – 31. 12. 2024.



This research aims to accomplish a complex investigation into what we propose to term "affective intermediality". We see this as a necessary and logical extension of the line of thinking that conceives intermediality not in semiotic terms, as a set of abstract categories and combinations (i.e. a kind of grammar), but – drawing on phenomenology and various philosophical sources – as a "poetics", an art of in-betweenness, or as a "sensual excess", "as a perceivable figure of media difference which disturbs the order of the discourse" (Joachim Paech). We attempt to map a wider area where "an affective turn" of intermediality studies can be conceived and where a focus on affects and sensations can yield a better understanding of the ways in which intermediality "works", and intermedial phenomena can establish "passages to physical reality" (Lúcia Nagib). Through in-depth case studies focusing on a wide selection from recent films made all over the world, with a special attention given also to films made by women, we propose an investigation into the affordances of intermedial cinema in conveying and generating specific "sensibilities", in experimenting with the representability and affective accessibility of a traumatic past or with the combination of emotional engagement and reflexive distantiation. We emphasize the epistemic value of intermediality: its capacity to generate feelings and revelations about the world.

We propose a threefold research:
1. A theoretical exploration with the aim of initiating a new approach in intermediality studies defined as "affective intermediality". Our general theoretical goal is to define this approach conceptually and to identify key areas where this should be implemented. We aim to theorize intermediality from the vantage points of affects, sensations connecting the experience of intermediality to reality. We propose to investigate the affective and performative role of intermediality, and to search for theoretical tools to describe such processes.
2. An examination of poetic strategies and tropes through which an "affective intermediality" is manifested in contemporary cinema. Our goal in this respect is to identify and interpret relevant poetic strategies (also to further refine the general modalities constituting the "structural" and the "sensual" templates of cinematic intermediality, considering also the ways they can merge).
3. An exploration of specific sensations and feelings communicated through intermediality, and an examination of ways in which impressions of media ambivalences (i.e. "sensations of intermediality") occur.

The estimated scientific results: research articles accepted in scientific journals indexed in international databases, submission of at least one book proposal related to the theme of the project for publication at a prestigious international publishing house, editing two special issues of the international journal Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies (indexed in the Web of Science Core Collection - ESCI) dedicated to the topic of the research project, organizing one large-scale international conference and two smaller workshops to initiate international debate and to consolidate the scientific paradigm promoted in the research project, creating a website, recording and making publicly available (on a You Tube Channel linked to the website) some of the guest lectures, presentations at the workshops and at the conference.

Duration of the program: 1 June 2022 – 31 December 2024.


Principal Investigator (PI): ÁGNES PETHŐ, PhD, Professor of Film Studies

Members of the research team:
HAJNAL KIRÁLY, PhD, experienced researcher
JUDIT PIELDNER, PhD, Associate Professor (Post-doc researcher)
MELINDA BLOS-JÁNI, PhD, Assistant Professor (Post-doc researcher)
KATALIN SÁNDOR, PhD, Assistant Professor (Post-doc researcher)


Organization of scientific events (workshops & conferences)

International workshop organized within the project:

Details, including the Call for Papers, Programme and Abstracts of the presentations for this workshop can be accessed here.

Book launches

During the international workshop entitled Uncanny Intermediality we launched two recent books written by members of our research project, Király Hajnal and Judit Pieldner. (Hajnal Király: The Cinema of Manoel de Oliveira: Modernity, Intermediality and the Uncanny, Bloomsbury Academic, 2022. Judit Pieldner: Adaptation, Remediation and Intermediality: Forms of In-betweenness in Cinema, Editura Presa Universitară Clujeană, 2020.)


INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE organized within the research project:

JØRGEN BRUHN's keynote presentation at the conference:

You can see a selection of the presentations at this conference in this playlist.

Short interview about the topic of the conference with some of the participants (in English):


Short interview about the topic of the conference with some of the participants (in Hungarian):


A detailed photo-documentation of the AFFECTIVE INTERMEDIALITY CONFERENCE can be accessed here.



II. Meeting of Researchers in Intermediality. Publishing on intermediality. We organized a hybrid roundtable plenary session (IRL and online) at the Affective Intermediality conference. We discussed the possibilities of publishing research findings with editors of book series and journals specializing on intermediality. 20 October 2023.

Chairs: Ana Cláudia Munari Domingos (Universidade de Santa Cruz do Sul, Brazil - online) and Ágnes Pethő (Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvani, Romania - IRL).

Participants: Jørgen Bruhn (Palgrave Studies of Intermediality - sitting at the table), Ágnes Pethő (at the table), Melinda Blos-Jáni, present IRL (Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies journal, Romania). Online participants: Masja Horn (Brill: Studies in Intermediality), Martine Beugnet (Edinburgh Studies in Film and Intermediality); Marion Schmid and Hugues Azérad (Peter Lang. European Connections: Studies In Comparative Literature, Intermediality and Aesthetics); Giovanna Santaera (Arabeschi journal, Italy); Andrea Gelardiand Marco Zilioli (Cinergie ‒ Il cinema e le altre arti / Cinema and the Other Arts journal, Italy); James Cisneros (Intermedialités. Histoire et théorie des arts, des lettres et des techniques / Intermediality. History and Theory of the Arts, Literature and Technologies journal, Canada); Janine Hauthal (The Journal for Literary and Intermedial Crossings, Belgium); Xavier Giudicelli and Sophie Stokes-Aymes (Polysèmes, Revue d'études intertextuelles et intermédiales / journal of the Society for the Study of Arts, Images and Texts, France); Brunilda Reichmann (Scripta Uniandrade journal, Brazil).


In the art exhibition entitled Immersion accompanying the Affective Intermediality conference, the audience could see the multimedia installation by Csaba András Nemes and Mira Marincaș, which created a unique space and an immersive experience that oscillated between the arts and the senses through the interplay of sculpture, photography, moving image and sound effects.

Participation in international conferences

Studies in Eastern European Cinemas Conference: Eastern European Screen- and Other Media,

16-17 June 2022. Organized by the journal Studies in Eastern European Cinema and the University of Central Lancashire.


  • Ágnes Pethő (keynote speaker): The Past is a Ready-Made? Rethinking Collage Effect, Affect and Intermediality in the Films of Radu Jude and Sergei Loznitsa.
  • Hajnal Király: Autonomy, Victimisation and Social Media in Contemporary Hungarian and Romanian Cinema.

The NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) Conference. Epistemic Media: Atlas, Archive, Network. Bucharest (Romania), 22-26. 06. 2022.
The conference programme can be accessed here. The team proposed and presented a panel promoting the research project entitled:  Affective Intermediality. Cinema between Media, Sensation, and Reality, and disseminated early results of the project. In addition, one member also presented a paper in the panel, Film History beyond the Limelight: Cineclub Culture in Romania. Institutions, Visual Formats and Curatorial Practices.

Papers presented at this conference:

  • Ágnes Pethő: Intermediality, Affect and Performativity in the Collage Films of Radu Jude
  • Judit Pieldner: In between the Epistemic and the Affective. Michael Haneke: Time of the Wolf
  • Katalin Sándor: Picturesque, Affective, and Political. Cinematic Landscape in Valeska Grisebach’s Western (2017)
  • Hajnal Király: Living the Films: Dramatization, Reenactment and Intermediality as Scene of Professional Sensitivity Training
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: The Small Gauge Film between Leisure and Science. Notes on the Romanian Amateur Cineclub Movement

The 'Little Apparatus." 100 Years of 9,5 mm Film. International conference hosted online by the Department of Film Studies and the Centre For International Film Research at the University of Southampton (UK), 16-18. 06. 2022.

Paper presented at this conference:

  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: Negotiating Media Specificity. Three Amateur Filmmakers in Transylvania from the Interwar Period

Visible Evidence: Images of History. University of Gdansk (Poland), 10-14. 08. 2022. Full programme of the conference can be accessed here.

Paper presented at this conference:

  • Kamilla Simor: Colour as a Temporal Layer: the Problem of Colourizing, Transforming and Digitally Rearranging Archival Footage from the Spanish Civil War.

6th International Society for Intermedial Studies Conference. In Between and Across: New Directions, Mappings and Contact Zones. Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin (Ireland), 1-3. 09. 2022. The full programme of the conference can be accessed here.

We proposed a preconstituted panel with the title Cinema's Affective Intermediality, and presented the following papers:

  • Ágnes Pethő: Towards an Affective Turn in Intermediality Studies
  • Judit Pieldner: Towards the Other (Arts). Affective Intermediality in Sally Potter's Films
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: From Picturesque Landscapes to Haptic Sensations. Documentaries about the Danube Delta.

UNCANNY INTERMEDIALITY INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP. Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvania  - Centre for Cinematic Intermediality and Visual Culture, Cluj-Napoca (Romania), 20-21 October 2022.

Presentations at this workshop:

  • Ágnes Pethő: The Uncanniness of Intermediality
  • Judit Pieldner: Intermedial Transgressions into the Uncanny in Martin McDonagh's In Bruges
  • Katalin Sándor: "It's Not So Far, Not So Near." (Un)homely Landscapes in Contemporary Romanian Films
  • Kamilla Simor: Analogue to Digital, Black and White to Colour. On the Issues of Colourized Archival Material
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: The Uncanny of the Self Portrait in Jonas Mekas's and José Luis Guerín's Filmed Correspondences

A Magyar Filmtudományi Társaság éves konferenciája: Háború, agresszió, konfliktus. Mozgóképi reprezentációk és gyakorlatok. (The annual conference of the Hungarian Society for Film Studies: War, Agression, Conflict. Cinematic Reprezentations and Practices). University of Art and Design Moholy-Nagy, Budapest (Hungary). 4-5 November 2022.

Paper presented at this conference:

  • Kamilla Simor: A szín mint időbeli réteg. Az archív háborús felvételek kolorizációjának problémái (Colour as a Temporal Layer. Issues of Colourizing Archival Footage of War)


Magyar-román fotográfiai kapcsolatok a két világháború között konferencia [Hungarian-Romanian Photographic Relations Between the Two World Wars Conference]. Organizer: Mai Manó House Photographic Museum, Budapest (Hungary). 10 November 2022.

Presentation at this conference:

  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: Kolozsvári fotósok az 1920-30-as években: intézmények és médiumok között [Photographers in Cluj-Napoca in the Interwar Period: Between Institutions and Media]


NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies) Conference: Care. Oslo (Norway),13-17 June 2023.

Organizing a special panel with the title: Processing Trauma through Intermediality and Affective Metalepsis and presenting two papers:

  • Ágnes Pethő : Between Empathy and Aesthetic Distance: Picturing Love and Loss in Joanna Hogg's Souvenir Films and The Eternal Daughter
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni : Filial Care and Personal Archiveology in Recent European Documentaries

VISIBLE EVIDENCE Conference XXIX: Documentary Ecologies, Udine (Italy), 6-9 September 2023.

The conference programme can be downloaded from here.

Presentations at this conference:

  • Kamilla Simor: To Forget and (Re)remember: Representing War Trauma in Performative Documentaries
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: Lengthening and Freezing the Image: The Sensual Archaeology of the Archive

Budapest Classics Lab (Conference organized in the framework of the international film festival, Budapest Classical Film Marathon),12-17 September. Organized by: The National Film Archive in Budapest, Hungary.

Presentation in English:

Elképzelt Erdély vizuális emlékezete / Imaginary Transylvania imaginară. The Visual Memory of the Region (conference organized within the 23. Filmtettfeszt, the Festival of Hungarian Films in Transylvania, co-organized by Babeș-Bolyai Universtity from Cluj-Napoca, Romania and the journal Apertura from Szeged, Hungary), 6-7 October 2023.

The title of the presentation:
  • Blos-Jáni Melinda: Romániai magyarokról készült riportok, mint emberi jogi diskurzusok a FEKETE DOBOZ független videófolyóiratban (1988-1996) / Video reportages about Hungarians from Romania. Visualizing Human Rights Discourses in the Budapest-based Independent Video Journal Entitled Black Box (1988-1996).

AFFECTIVE INTERMEDIALITY CONFERENCE, large-scale international conference organized within the framework of the research project. Sapientia Hungarian University of Transylvani - Centre for Cinematic Intermediality and Visual Culture, Cluj-Napoca (Romania), 20-21 October 2023.

Presentations at this conference:

  • Hajnal Király: Beyond the Body Horror: Identity, Sensation and Affect in Anna Nemes - László Csuja's Gentle (2022)
  • Katalin Sándor: Hospitality and Affective Encounters in Marian Crișan's Film Morgen and Cristian Mungiu's R.M.N.
  • Ágnes Pethő: "Molecular" Intermediality. Tacita Dean's Precarious Visions in-between the Visual Arts, Cinema and the Gallery Film
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: Photographic Leaps into the Past. The Affective Hybridity of Recent European Documentaries
  • Judit Pieldner: Uncanny (E)motions of Intermediality in Grant Gee's Patience (After Sebald)
  • Kamilla Simor: The Democratisation of Perception: Intermediality in the Digital Age

A Magyar Filmtudományi Társaság éves Konferenciája / The annual conference of the Hungarian Society for Film Studies: "In One's Own Skin." Identities and Self-reflexive images în Film. Eger, Eszterházy Károly Catholic University, Hungary, 3-4 November 2023.

Paper presented at this conference:

  • Simor Kamilla: A háború reprezentációjának részvételi jellege és „az érzékelés demokratizálódása." (The Participatory Nature of the Representation of War and "the Democratization of Perception.")

(E)MOTION IN CHANGING WORLDS, international conference organized by The Department of English Literature of the School of English at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. November 3-5. 2023.

The team proposed a special panel for this conference entitled: On Affective Intermediality and (Im)mobility in Contemporary European Cinema

Titles of the presentations:

  • Hajnal Király: The Weight of Care: Figures of Emotional (Im)Mobility in Contemporary European Cinema
  • Judit Pieldner: The Crisis of Care and Affective Intermediality in Sally Potter's The Roads Not Taken
  • Katalin Sándor: Representations of Hospitality, Conflict and Affective Encounter with the Migrant in Marian Crișan's Film Morgen and Cristian Mungiu's R. M. N

The BAFTSS Colour and Film SIG Research Seminar. 6 November 2023.

  • Kamilla Simor was invited to present a paper at this prestigious online seminar with the title: 
    Reconfiguration of the Past: The Spanish Civil War in Colour

Guest lectures presenting results of the research project



Articles in scientific journals indexed in international databases:

Publications in cultural journals which disseminate the research results beyond the more restrained academic environment:

Book chapters in edited volumes published by scientific publishing houses:

  • Hajnal Király: Plains, Mountains and Lakes: Landscapes of Loss and Guilt in Postsocialist Hungarian and Romanian Cinema. In: David Melbye (ed.): Global Cinema Studies in Landscape Allegory, Lexington Books (accepted for publication, forthcoming).
  • Ágnes Pethő: Cinema's Affective and Metaleptic Intermediality. In: Massimo Fusillo, Doriana Legge, Mirko Lino, Mattia Petricola, Gianluigi Rossini (szerk.): Transcodification: Literature, Arts, Media. De Gruyter (accepted for publication, forthcoming).
  • Katalin Sándor: Marian Crișan: Morgen. In: Dana Duma, Stephan Krause, Anke Pfeifer (eds.): Klassiker des Rumänischen Films. Schüren Verlag, 2024. ISBN 978-3-7410-0395-0 (forthcoming.)
  • Judit Pieldner: Kultúrák, művészetek, életvilágok kereszteződése Sally Potter filmjeiben. [Intersections of Culture, Arts and Lifeworlds in the Films of Sally Potter] In: Magda Ajtay-Horváth, Tamás Tukacs (eds): Kereszt/eződések – Válaszutak és metszéspontok a kultúrában és a történelemben. Interdiszciplináris tanulmányok II. [Intersections - in Culture and History. Interdisciplinary Essays II] Universitatea din Nyíregyháza, 2023: 121–132. ISBN 978-615-6032-63-8.
  • Judit Pieldner: Sensations of In-Betweenness, Intermedial Transgressions in Martin McDonagh's In Bruges. In: Melinda Blos-Jáni, Hajnal Király, Mihály Lakatos, Judit Pieldner, Katalin Sándor (eds.): Intermedial Encounters. Scientia, Cluj Napoca, 2022. ISBN 9786069750735. 211-221.
  • Katalin Sándor: "Excavations" – An Intermedial Approach to Corneliu Porumboiu's The Treasure (2015). In: Melinda Blos-Jáni, Hajnal Király, Mihály Lakatos, Judit Pieldner, Katalin Sándor (eds.): Intermedial Encounters. Scientia, Cluj Napoca, 2022. ISBN 9786069750735. 249-259.
  • Hajnal Király: Guilty Landscapes and Landscapes of Guilt in Contemporary Cinema. In: Melinda Blos-Jáni, Hajnal Király, Mihály Lakatos, Judit Pieldner, Katalin Sándor (eds.): Intermedial Encounters. Scientia, Cluj Napoca, 2022. ISBN 9786069750735. 325-335.
  • Melinda Blos-Jáni: Getting in Touch. (Un)Framing Reality in Jonas Mekas's and José Luis Guerín's Filmed Correspondences (2011). In: Melinda Blos-Jáni, Hajnal Király, Mihály Lakatos, Judit Pieldner, Katalin Sándor (eds.): Intermedial Encounters. Scientia, Cluj Napoca, 2022. ISBN 9786069750735. 393-407.

Special issue of a journal indexed in international scientific databases:

Acta Universitatis Sapientiae, Film and Media Studies, 2023 vol. 24: Uncanny Intermediality - articles written following the international workshop organized with the same titel in October 2022 (the journal is indexed in: Web of Science Core Collection Emerging Sources Citation Index - ESCI, impact factor: 0.1, ERIH plus, CEEOL, NSD, etc. It is published both online in a gold open access form and in print with coloured illustrations.)


International connections

  • 21-24 November 2022. Meeting with scholars working on similar researches in the domain of intermediality at the Department of Cultural Values, Archaeology, History, Art, Film, Music from the University of Padova, Italy.


Sapientia - Erdélyi Magyar Tudományegyetem Sapientia - EMTE, Kolozsvári Kar
Sapientia - Hangtechnika
Rekollekt - Erdélyi Audiovizuális Archívum
Erdélyi Magyar Filmszövetség Beanbag Animation Studio
Magyar Filmtudományi Társaság ELTE Filmtudomány Tanszék
Filmtett - Erdélyi Filmes Portál
Metropolis - Filmelméleti és filmtörténeti folyóirat