We are thrilled to announce the second Senses of Cinema-Monash Essay Prize awarded to the best published work in 2018 by an Australian contributor. This prize has been established in partnership with Monash University to support and showcase critical, informed writing on film and related media, build professional opportunities for film scholars, writers and critics, and contribute actively towards a vibrant film culture.

The judging panel of the inaugural prize includes Senses editor David Heslin, who is also the editor of Screen Education, Associate Professor of Film and Screen at Monash University, Belinda Smaill, and critic Dr Lauren Carroll Harris, who writes the Stream Lover column for The Guardian and can be heard on Radio National’s The Screen Show. We are indebted to their deliberation and expertise in deciding this year’s winner.

We are very pleased to announced that the winner this year is Danica van de Velde for her essay Erosion by Desire: Marguerite Duras’ Self-Adaptations. Danica will receive a cash prize of AUD $500. This year, the judges have also awarded an honourable mention to Stefan Solomon for Of Mechanisms and Machines: Brazil’s New New Cinema.

In choosing this year’s Senses of Cinema-Monash essay prize, we searched for work that has made an original, innovative and unique contribution to thinking in film scholarship.

For this year’s essay prize, the judging panel has selected Danica van de Velde’s “Erosion by Desire: Marguerite Duras’ Self-Adaptations”. With this piece, we found a beautiful essay that draws plenty of associations between Duras’ films and her sentiments of desire, destruction and ruination across her body of work in literature and theatre. In her analysis, van de Velde captured something of Duras’ own artistic sensibility, and all three of us hold the essay in great esteem.

We also opted to award an honourable mention to Stefan Solomon’s “Of Mechanisms and Machines: Brazil’s New New Cinema”, a piece that elegantly blends rigorous research, industry analysis and cinematic thinking.

We thank and honour both these authors, as well as all the nominees and all the writers who made rich and thoughtful contributions to cinematic discourse in Senses of Cinema in 2018.

— Lauren Carroll Harris, David Heslin and Belinda Smaill.

Congratulations to both Danica and Stefan for their fantastic work!