General Information

Though Senses of Cinema is a largely commissioned-based journal, unsolicited submissions are welcome, and may take the form of outlines, incomplete drafts or finished pieces. Proposals for the main section should be sent to submissions[at]sensesofcinema.com. When sending an outline for an article it helps to give as much information as possible about your projected line of argument as well as your subject matter. If what you have in mind seems appropriate, we will encourage you to go ahead, though publication is not guaranteed before the finished article is submitted. If you are sending a proposal only and have not contributed to Senses of Cinema before, please attach a sample of your past writing on film, or supply a URL where we can find this, and also a CV or bio about yourself. All contributions are unpaid.

Submissions should be sent as Word documents. Layout and formatting should conform as closely as possible to current Senses of Cinema house style: please use any of the articles in the latest issue as models, or write to us if you have particular style queries. In particular, make sure your article is accompanied by correctly formatted endnotes supplying page-specific references for all written quotes and factual information.

When submitting articles you are encouraged to provide accompanying images (72dpi, no larger) or suggestions on where these might be found. All stills and technical queries should be sent to Webmaster Rachel Brown, rachel[at]sensesofcinema.com

Our policy is not to republish material that is already freely available online in English (including on personal websites). Contributors are welcome to submit articles previously published in hard copy, especially if the books or journals where they appeared are no longer available or have not been widely circulated internationally. However, when submitting articles please let us know if they have already been published elsewhere (in English or otherwise). Conversely, as Senses of Cinema shares copyright with authors over all work published, we appreciate if you let us know before seeking to republish your own writing from the journal elsewhere.

We are open to submissions in languages other than English, although this may present difficulties depending on the language and the availability of a translator.

We publish both academic and non-academic articles and are open to a range of styles and critical approaches. Articles can be refereed on request (see below for more detail). Specific suggested topics for our upcoming issue are available here and give some idea of the range of subject-matter we aim to cover.

  • Critical studies of little-known/undervalued films and filmmakers (including screenwriters, actors, etc)
  • Re-evaluations of major films and filmmakers
  • Review-essays on significant contemporary films
  • Interviews with significant filmmakers and film theorists
  • Original essays in film theory
  • Book reviews and reports on film festivals

Under all these headings, we are especially receptive to essays on Australian film and film culture.

In general we look for writing that has a personal voice, an original argument, and detailed analysis of the style and themes of particular films. Interviews should also be analytically-focused and aim to discuss film aesthetics in some detail (if there is someone in particular you would like to interview, let us know and we may be able to help in setting it up). There is no strict word limit, but the majority of articles published run between 2000 and 6000 words, depending on their form.

Finally, please be aware that it may take up to a couple of months for us to read and consider submissions.

Refereeing Policy

Senses of Cinema is not a fully refereed film journal. However, it provides writers with the option of having their work refereed. If you would like this to happen, let us know upon submitting an article (note that generally we do not send pieces to outside referees until they have been provisionally accepted for publication). Please allow at least four weeks for the refereeing process.

Articles are sent as “blind reviews” to a minimum of two referees who are experts in their field. Senses of Cinema is listed on the Register of Refereed Journals maintained by the Department of Education, Science and Training, Australia.

Festival Reports

We are interested in reports from large and small film festivals around the world. Please note however that we generally prefer to cover highly-curated and original film festivals (and tend to steer away from the national-survey film festivals held in most major cities around the world). If you would like to write on a particular festival, it’s best to contact us well before it starts, though we will also consider submissions at a later stage. Reports should concentrate as far as possible on films that have not been widely screened elsewhere and/or those which have not been written about before in Senses of Cinema.

Contributors are encouraged to take an individual approach in composing their festival reports; rather than trying to give a comprehensive picture of the entire festival it’s often better to write in more detail about a smaller number of especially memorable films. Please include a title for your festival report (e.g. “Taking Off: The 47th San Francisco International Film Festival”) however it’s up to you to decide how far reviews of individual films should be integrated into a larger framework. Festival reports typically run between 2500 and 3500 words. Please note that your report needs to be filed no later than two weeks from the festival’s conclusion as we try to get these up as quickly as possible so as to remain relevant and of interest at the time of publication.

Please contact Michelle Carey, michelle[at]sensesofcinema.com, regarding writing a film festival or conference report.

Book Reviews

As we can publish reviews of only a small fraction of new film-related books, our focus is on works of criticism, theory and history that are of potential interest to both the scholar and the general reader. Books on Australian cinema or by Australian authors are also of interest, and reviews of significant books published in languages other than English are also very welcome. Again, if you would like to review a particular book, please send either a proposal, a draft, or the finished review.

Once again, individual approaches to book reviewing are encouraged; we prefer reviewers to engage with the substantive issues raised by a book and mount arguments of their own rather than simply giving a chapter-by-chapter summary and evaluation. The typical length for reviews is between 1000 and 2000 words, though it’s fine to write at greater length if this seems warranted. We are also receptive to proposals for “essay-reviews” which may cover more than one book or use a single book as a starting-point for a wider discussion. Page references should be given for all quotes. All reviews should have titles (e.g. “Energy Unleashed: Leos Carax by Fergus Daly and Garin Dowd”). Generally, images are not required for shorter book reviews.

Please contact Daniel Fairfax, daniel[at]sensesofcinema.com, regarding writing a book review.

Great Directors

The Great Directors section comprises profiles of established directors (if you are interested in covering an emerging or mid-career director, this would be better placed in the general section). This critical database aims to dispel traditional notions of “the directorial canon” and welcomes submissions of interest on filmmakers from any corner of the globe and any period of cinema history. All we ask is that the suggested director exhibits a personal or unique style and has contributed in a noteworthy way to cinema history. To see which directors have already been written on, please visit the Great Directors index page.

When expressing interest on profiling a director, please outline your impression of their place in cinema history, how you would approach your subject and a couple of paragraphs on what you would include in the essay (following the guiding points below). It is essential to have seen the bulk of the director’s work (except where prints may have been destroyed or lost) and be intimate with critical writings on and/or by him/her. However it is also important to admit any gaps in your viewing, particularly if the film/s have not been distributed or screened often (as lack of adequate distribution or exhibition opportunities inevitably feed into a Director’s place in cinema history). Expressions of interest for a Great Directors profile should be sent to submissions[at]sensesofcinema.com.

Each individual profile includes a critical essay, filmography, bibliography and web resources. The essay should run between 3000 and 5000 words, and should include biography, analyses of individual films (including neglected works), historiography of your subject (if applicable) and critical appraisal. Films need not necessarily be discussed in a chronological order but most if not all of the director’s career must be covered. The essay should be evaluative as well as descriptive and show evidence of deep research and new insight into the subject. The positing of a thesis is encouraged, particularly with respect to under-appreciated directors. Your essay may have an additional title if you wish and sub-headings are encouraged if the essay is particularly long.

The filmography should list in forward chronological order all of the films directed (including co-direction credits and portmanteau films). You may include Other Credits under this, and this is particularly encouraged if the Director was also prolific in other areas (e.g. screenwriting); please include the director of these films in this list as well. Bibliography should aim to be as complete as possible, including books, articles, anthologies and other relevant (non-web) sources. If you wish to include sources that you have referred to in your essay but that are not directly related to the director, you may do so as Works Cited. Web Resources should include online pages or websites that offer useful and intelligent further insight into the Director. As with other sections of the journal, please refer to previous Great Director profiles for formatting guidelines. If appropriate, Great Directors essays may be submitted for refereeing.

CTEQ Annotations

The key purpose of these annotations is to provide a context for the further appreciation of a specific film by discussing aspects of its production and critical history, by providing a reading of its aesthetic qualities, by analysing its place within a series of related contexts (a particular national cinema, the work of a director, actor, etc.), and so on. They also provide a forum for the sustained discussion and close textual analysis of individual films, while contributing to a substantial database of such writing. Generally, the annotations should generate further discussion and demonstrate a genuine passion or enthusiasm for the chosen film (though they may also be explicitly critical). There are no set guidelines for the form these annotations should take, but essentially we do not want reviews that mostly recount the plot and provide relatively superficial value judgements. We want your annotations to contribute as much as possible to the critical understanding of your chosen film and not just reiterate received opinion. Feel free to discuss your particular approach with us.

Prior to each edition of Senses of Cinema a list of films screening at the Melbourne Cinémathèque is circulated via email. Writers are then matched up with specific films – as there may be several people interested in one film it is a good idea to suggest more than one you would be happy to write on. Articles should follow the guidelines set out generally by Senses of Cinema and should be 800–1000 words in length (though this is definitely negotiable). Submissions for CTEQ Annotations on Film should be sent to Dr Adrian Danks at adrian[at]sensesofcinema.com. You can subscribe to the contributors list below.

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