Oana-Maria Mazilu

Oana-Maria Mazilu is an experienced researcher and a frequent contributor of Spot On, Doc.


Oana-Maria Mazilu is an independent researcher who specialises in the intersection between Hollywood and national film, with a particular focus on Romanian national cinema. She recently submitted her PhD thesis “The Reception of Hollywood Cinema in Communist and Post-Communist Romania: The Case of Cinema Magazine”, and will soon be joining the Docs of Spot on, Doc. with the official title. In her PhD, Maria analysed coverage of the Hollywood film scene in Romania’s longest-lasting film periodical, Cinema, and noted how this was presented to Romanian audience in the context of the country’s totalitarian communist regime, and immediately after its fall in 1989.

Maria is 90s kid, who grew up in Bucharest and learned English at a young age from watching Cartoon Network. Although the 90s are characterised by scholars as a very dry period for Romanian national cinema, the influx of Hollywood films and American popular culture at the time would shape Maria’s research interests and perspective on cinema. After the fall of the regime, Romanian audiences were able to freely watch both American films, and national productions which had been censored or banned in the years of Communism. In lieu of new Romanian films as the national film industry adapted to the country’s transitional economy, Hollywood films satisfied Romanian audiences’ thirst for entertainment and escapism from the communist past. It took a little over a decade for Romanian cinema to receive international attention with the emergence and recognition of the Romanian New Wave in the early 2000s. Maria is a film historian interested in the impact of totalitarian political regimes on film production, distribution, exhibition and reception, and even more so in those cases that defied political restraints.

In 2015, Maria was awarded funding for her PhD project through the Graduate Teaching Assistantship scholarship and worked as an assistant lecturer. She is currently preparing the article ‘Tits and Freedom: Nudity in Romania’s 1990s Film Scene’ and continuing research on Cinema magazine by focusing on its 1924-1948 publication period.  

PhD in Film Studies

“The Reception of Hollywood Cinema in Communist and Post-Communist Romania: The Case of Cinema Magazine” (2020). Supervised by Dr. Tamar Jeffers McDonald and Prof. Núria Triana Toribio.


  • Mazilu, Oana-Maria. (2019). A Star is Born: Nicolae Ceaușescu’s Image in the Romanian Film Magazine Cinema in: Jeffers McDonald, Tamar. and Lanckman, Lies. eds. Star Attractions: Movie Magazines and Global Fandom in the Golden Age of Cinema. University of Iowa Press
  • Mazilu, Oana-Maria. (2017). The Representation of Women in Cinema Magazine Advertising. Analize: Journal of Gender and Feminist Studies [online] 9: 31-48. Available at:   www.analize-journal.ro

Teaching Experience

  • Film Style. Content included: Narrative, Cinematography, Editing, Mise-en-scène, Art Cinema, Experimental Film, Digital Cinema.
  • Film Theory. Content included: Formalism, Realism, Genre, Feminism, National Cinema, Cognitivism, Sound, Digital Cinema, Cinema of Attractions. 
  • Documentary Film. Content included: Documentary Film Techniques, Boundary between Fiction and Non-Fiction, Memory, Space, Cinéma Vérité.
  • Hollywood Studios. Content included: History of Hollywood Studio System, Production, Distribution, Exhibition, Genre, Stars, Fan Magazines, Studio Style, Censorship. 
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