Dr Jill Daniels
Department of Media, Fashion & Communications , School of Arts and Creative Industries
Senior Lecturer at the School of Arts and Creative Industries.
Jill is an internationally renowned filmmaker and scholar. She teaches undergraduate and postgraduate film programmes and supervises PhD students in Film and Professional Doctorates in Fine Art. She has previously taught film at Royal Holloway University of London; London South Bank and Westminster University. Her published research spans memory, place and subjectivities in experimental fiction, documentary and cinematic essay films. Jill's films have been shown at many international film festivals including Creteil, France, Hot Springs, Athens, Ohio, Feminale, Germany, Astra, Romania, and on broadcast television. She co-founded the film company High Ground Films in 1985. Her recent film awards include best documentary for Breathing Still at SmallAxe Film Festival in 2018; best experimental film at Ann Arbor Experimental Film Festival for My Private Life II in 2017 and best documentary for My Private Life at Athens International Film and Video Festival, USA in 2015; Her films are in numerous international collections and she has sat on many film juries. Her most recent film Resisters (2021), located in Berlin, is a feature essay film constructed through poetic fictionalised enactment and realism to explore contemporary and historic struggles against fascism and nationalism.
Jill has published extensively, including co-authoring the chapter, Against the Grain: Women Film Practitioners and Theorists Talk Creative Practice and Theory, in 'Creative Practice Research in the Age of Neoliberal Hopelessness' (ed. Piotrowska, A.) (2020). Her monograph Memory, Place and Autobiography: Experiments in Documentary Filmmaking was published in 2019 and she co-edited: Truth, Dare or Promise: Art and Documentary Revisited (2013). The book maps out developments in art and documentary, covering themes that include explorations of personal experience and representations of the past, while examining interactive galleries and the cinematic space.
Jill is vice-chair of the Editorial Board of Journal of Media Practice & Education.
Filmography (since 2009)
- Resisters - Epistolary documentary essay film on the rise of nationalism and resistance to fascism in Berlin, past and present, addressed to Rosa Luxemburg.
- Breathing Still 2020 - reworked Breathing Still, Video. 10 mins. 2020.
- Breathing Still - Epistolary essay film on the rise of nationalism in Germany, past and present, addressed to Rosa Luxemburg. Video. 8 mins. 2018.
- My Private Life II - the second film in her trilogy, My Private Life. A split screen film reworking the narrative structure and footage in My Private Life as 'found footage'. Video. 25 minutes. 2015
- My Private Life - An experimental autoethnographical documentary exploring memory and contested identity in her Jewish family. Video. 63 minutes. 2014.
- The Border Crossing - An experimental autobiographical documentary exploring place, memory and identity in the Basque country. Video 47 minutes. 2011.
- Next Year In Lerin - Documentary about Macedonian children exiled from Greece since the civil war. Video. 45 minutes. (2000) Updated 2010.
- Not Reconciled (Irreconciliados) - Rosa and Carlos, the voices of ghosts of young republicans from the Spanish civil war roam the ruins of Belchite in northern Spain. Video. 41 minutes. 2009
- Small Town Girl - A documentary shot over 5 years about 3 young girls growing up in Nelson and Frome, two small run-down towns in England. Video. 82 minutes. 2007.
- Lost in Gainesville - Hector was eight when his father brought him to Gainesville, in the heart of the American south. Olga was twelve when her father swam the Rio Grande with her on his back. Thomas was sixteen when his mother put him on a bus alone, with a bag of tacos for the 2000 mile journey. 'Lost in Gainesville' retraces their journey, as they tell their stories of growing up amongst lost hopes and dreams, in a town where work has dried up, where fascists march against them and where rich whites live out lives of faded glory. Video. 60 minutes. 2005.
- Spirits (experimental) - shot on an unspoilt coast of Greece using fragmented slow-motion close-ups and sound, an exploration of fear and violence when the parallel worlds of humans and insects collide. Video. 5 minutes. 2003.
- Fool's Gold - Documentary about Myra who is part Cherokee. She works as a cleaner in the local hotel in Dahlonega Georgia where gold was discovered and the Cherokees were deported in 'The Trail of Tears'. While others cash in on the gold heritage Myra struggles with poverty. Video. 55 minutes. 2002.
- Killing Time - Experimental drama - one woman and a boys' isolation from city life. Video. 3 minutes. 2000.
- Assault - Drama - a woman is betrayed by her lover. 16mm. 11 minutes. 1996.
- Skin Deep - Documentary about the life of the director's Jewish Romanian grandmother. 16mm. 40 minutes. 1996.
- Secret Heart - Documentary about four young women with learning difficulties and their music. 16mm. 25 minutes. 1994.
- Exiles - Documentary about three Jewish women refugees living in a Jewish old people's home in North London.16mm. 45 minutes. 1991.
- I'm In Heaven - Drama about a Jewish woman estranged from her orthodox family. 16mm. 30 minutes. 1989.
- Debacle - An experimental film exploring the conventions of narrative embodied in the 'thriller' genre. 16mm. 40 minutes. 1976.
- University of Manitoba, Canada
- Athens University, Greece
- Sebina Open Library, Sardinia
- Leeds University, UK
- University of East London Library, UK
- The Imperial War Museum, UK
- The Runnymede Trust, UK
- Alaska Museum of Film & Video, USA
- The Naval War College, USA
- Ohio State University, USA
- University of South Florida Library, USA
- University of Arizona, USA
Awards (since 2010)
- Breathing Still: Best Documentary - Small Axe @ Tolpuddle Film Festival, UK. 2018.
- My Private Life II: Honorable Mention, Experimental Forum Film Festival, 2017; Best Experimental Film, Ann Arbor Experimental Film Festival, USA, 2017; Nominated in 'Innovation', Arts & Humanities Research Council Film Awards. 2016.
- My Private Life: Honourable Mention for Documentary Feature - Athens International Film Festival, Ohio, USA. 2014.
- The Border Crossing: Best Documentary Feature - Athens International Film Festival, Ohio, USA. 2012.
- Small Town Girl: Best Documentary Feature - Filmdirecting4Women Women's Film Festival, London. 2010.
- Not Reconciled: Special Mention - Granada Festival of Film, Spain. 2010.
Publications (since 2011)
- Chapter co-author: Against the Grain: Women Film Practitioners and Theorists Talk Creative Practice and Theory, with Velody, R., and Atakav. E. in Creative Practice Research in the Age of Neoliberal Hopelessness (ed.) Piotrowska, A., 2020, Edinburgh University Press
- Author: Memory, Place and Autobiography: Experiments in Documentary Filmmaking, 2019, Cambridge Scholars.
- 'The Subjective Voice and Hybrid Documentary Filmmaking Strategies: A Case Study', Alphaville Issue 17 DOI: https://doi.org/10.33178/alpha.17 2019.
- 'My Private Life II', Sightlines Journal. Issue 2. Australia. 2017, (film & accompanying theoretical contextual piece & published peer reviews). http://www.aspera.org.au/research/my-private-life-ii/
- 'Blurred Boundaries: Remediation of Found Footage in Experimental Autobiographical Documentary Filmmaking', Journal of Media Practice, Vol 18. Issue 1, Special Issue, Practice Symposium. UK. 2017.
- 'My Private Life II', Screenworks. UK. 2016. (Film & accompanying theoretical contextual piece & published peer reviews).
- 'Trauma and silence: strategies of mediation in the aftermath of civil war', Rethinking History, 18(3), 2014, pp. 391-399.
- PhD Thesis: Memory, Place and Subjectivity: Experiments in Independent Documentary Filmmaking. University of East London. 2014.
- Co-editor and author of Truth, Dare or Promise: Art and Documentary Revisited, with McLaughlin, C., and Pearce, G., 2013, Cambridge Scholars.
- Chapter author: 'The Border Crossing: Experiments in the Cinematic Representation of Memory' in Daniels, J., McLaughlin, C., and Pearce, G., eds. Truth, Dare or Promise: Art and Documentary Revisited, 2013 Cambridge Scholars
- Co-author: Report on Visible Evidence XVII in Istanbul, Turkey. 2011, Journal of Media Practice.
Conference Presentations (since 2012)
- Online screening and lecture of Breathing Still at Boom, Berlin 2020. http://covini.com/artists.html.
- Film screening & Q&A, Practice as Research, Hyphen Journal & Centre for Research and Education in Art and Media (CREAM), University of Westminster. 2020.
- Film screening & Q&A, Wishful Images, UEL Moving Image Research Centre (MIRC), 2020.
- Panellist, Symposium on Spanish film, Silence of Others (2018), Latin American Studies, University College London.
- Panellist, Practice as Research symposium, South Bank University, London. 2019.
- Film screening & Presentation, Creative Practice Research in the Age of NeoLiberal Hopelessness Conference, University of Bedfordshire. 2018.
- Presentation, Documentary is Breathing Still, DocNow symposium, London.
- Chair of Panel, Writing for Documentary and the Essay Film, 2018.
- Presentation, Excavations: the Provenance of the Documentary and Essay Film Script, Visible Evidence XXV, Documentary Conference, University of Indiana. 2018.
- Presentation and panel participant, Practice as Research Symposium, University of Cork, Ireland. 2018.
- Presentation, The Performative Voice-Over: Frictions Between Realism and the Imagined in the Experimental Documentary Film, Visible Evidence XXIV, International Documentary Conference, UNTREF & AsSECA, Revista Cine Documental Universities, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 2017.
- Presentation, Inside the Academy: Experiments in Documentary Film Practice, Journal of Media Practice/MeCCSA Annual Symposium, Bath Spa University. 2017.
- Presentation, Excavations: the Provenance of the Essay Film Script, Symposium, Essay Film Special Interest Group, BAFTSS University of York.
- Presentation, Voices in the Essay Film: Blurring the boundaries of realism and the imagined at BAFTSS Annual Conference, Bristol. 2017.
- Presentation, Inside the Academy: Experiments in Documentary Film Practice at Sightlines: Filmmaking in the Academy, 2016, RMIT, Melbourne, Australia.
- Presentation, Expanding Boundaries in Experimental Documentary Film, Visible Evidence XXIII, Documentary Conference, Montana State University. 2016
- AHRC Commons at York University. Presentation of Film practice in Film Zone and Paper on film practice research in the Academy in Debate Zone. 2016
- Keynote: Journal of Media Practice/MeCCSA Practice Symposium, University of South Bank, London: Future Screens. Paper: Blurred Boundaries: Remediation of Found Footage in Experimental Documentary Filmmaking. 2016.
- MeCCSA annual conference at Christchurch, Christchurch, University of Canterbury - Paper: Fluid Boundaries and the Democratization of Screening Spaces. 2016
- Symposium at University of Brighton, Autoethnography: Learning from Stories. Paper: My Private Life: Autoethnography in the Experimental Autobiographical Documentary Film. 2015.
- Visible Evidence Documentary Conference XX – Stockholm, Sweden. Paper: 'Experiential Communities of Memory: strategies in mediating witness testimony in history and national identity', and co-organiser of workshop: 'Art and Documentary' 2013.
- MeCCSA - University of Bedfordshire. Paper: 'The Cinematic Representation of Memory in the Autobiographical Documentary' & Screening of The Border Crossing. 2012.
- Visible Evidence Documentary Conference XIX - Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. Paper: 'Trauma and Silence: strategies of mediating trauma and silence in the aftermath of civil war'. 2012
- Parallax Views - Moving Image Research Centre, University of East London. Paper: 'Experiential Communities of Memory: strategies in mediating witness testimony in history and national identity'. 2012.
- UEL Research & Knowledge Exchange Conference, University of East London. Paper: 'The Cinematic Representation of Memory in the Autobiographical Documentary'. 2012.
- Interrogating Trauma in the Humanities, University of Lincoln. Paper: 'Trauma and Silence: strategies of mediating trauma and silence in the aftermath of civil war'. 2012 - Doc Now Documentary Conference, Birkbeck College, University of London. Paper: 'Trauma and Silence: strategies of mediating trauma and silence in the aftermath of civil war'. 2012.
- Memory and Screens Conference, Birkbeck College, University of London. Paper and Screening: The Border Crossing. 2012.
- Crossroads in Cultural Studies, Paris, France. Paper: 'Problems of the Cinematic Representation of the Self in the Autobiographical Documentary.' 2012.
- Film Programme
- MA Film MS7534 Thesis
- MA Film MS7505 Narrative Cinemas
- BA Film
- 3rd Year Film Thesis MS6201
- 2nd Year Film, History, Memory MS5203
- 1st Year Cinematics