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Shane Danielsen

Shane Danielsen studied Law and English Literature at the University of Sydney and after graduating worked as a features writer for Australia’s two leading broadsheet newspapers, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian, for more than a decade.

In June 2001 he was appointed Artistic Director of the Edinburgh International Film Festival in the UK – the first Australian ever appointed to head a major international film festival – and oversaw five editions of this prestigious event before departing in September 2006 to pursue a career as a screenwriter. His first feature, Errors of the Human Body, co-written and directed by Eron Sheean, premiered in 2012; his second, The World Made Straight, directed by David Burris and starring Jeremy Irvine and Adelaide Clemens, recently completed post-production in North Carolina.

After living in Berlin for a number of years, he returned to Australia in early 2012, where, in addition to being a critic for SBS Online, he works as a creative consultant for Hopscotch Films.


Twitter handle: I’m 46 years old, for Christ’s sake.

City I call home: New York City. Unfortunately, I live in Sydney.

Area of cinema I am most passionate about: Roughly halfway back and near the aisle.

A film that changed me: Until the End of the World (1991), by Wim Wenders. Not because it’s a good film – it’s a long way from the achievement of Alice in the Cities or Kings of the Road (or even Wings of Desire) – but because its vision of restless, rapid-fire globe-hopping made me to stop trying to be a lawyer and instead spend the next two decades travelling.

MIFF film I’m most looking forward to: Godard’s Masculin Feminin is one of my favourite movies of all time, so I’ll probably watch that for the thirtieth-or-so time. Of the new stuff, Joanna Hogg’s Exhibition and Farida Pacha's doc My Name Is Salt.

I’m looking forward to Critics Campus because: The standard of film criticism in this country is so dismally, extraordinarily low, in terms of both analysis and the simple writing-of-prose, that any attempt to raise the bar must be welcomed.

Cinema excites me because: Banal and/or pretentious as it might sound, I do believe that stories help us make sense of the world. Having said that, however, I also think there’s a lot of different ways to tell a story – and to understand one.