Style Guide

Download our Style Guide as a PDF

Please ensure manuscripts are in a standard font, 12-point font size and contain minimal ​formatting.

Illustrations should be sent as separate files in a standard image format (jpeg, PNG, etc) rather than embedded in manuscripts. Please indicate in the manuscript where you would like images to appear. The caption will be the film title in italics.


Australian spelling, Macquarie Dictionary 

Colour rather than color
Dialogue rather than dialog
Recognisable rather than recognizable
Neighbour rather than neighbor
Travelled rather than traveled 

Film titles 

In italics, followed by director’s name and year of release in parentheses.
Example: ​Wake in Fright​ (Ted Kotcheff, 1971)

For non-English language films, list the original title first. Followed by the English title in parentheses, if there is one.
Example: ​Il deserto rosso ​(​Red Desert​, Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964).
Thereafter use the English title.

The only exception to this is if the film is commonly known in English by its foreign title, such as ​La Jetée.

Book and newspaper titles 

In italics.
Example: As ​The Age​ critic Jake Wilson wrote, ​Mad Dog Morgan​ is a classic example of ’70s Ozploitation. 


One to ten as words, 11 and above as digits. 


23 October 2015
’60s (not sixties or 60’s)
20th century (not 20​th​ Century, twentieth century, Twentieth Century) 

Quotes and punctuation 

For sentences, punctuation inside quote marks.
Example: Although Bazin wrote, “the Western is the only genre whose origins are almost identical with those of the cinema itself,” others have disputed this claim.

When quoting within the paragraph, use double quotation marks. Use single quotation marks for quotes within these quotes.
Example: Truffaut quotes Hitchcock as saying, ​“In many of the films now being made, there is very little cinema: they are mostly what I call ‘photographs of people talking.’”

For single words or very short phrases, punctuation outside quote marks. Example: She later declared that of all her films, this was her “least favourite”. 


En dashes for dashes within sentences, with a space either side.
Example: It remains to be seen if more of her work will be discovered – so far only the films made after 1928 are known to exist. 


Title case all subheadings. 

Additional points 

Filmmaker, rather than film-maker.
Gordon Willis’ cinematography, NOT Gordon Willis’s cinematography.

Naming Conventions 

Western order [given name followed by family name] for persons from the America’s, Japan, Europe, India, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand and the Philippines.
Example: Fabrice Du Welz bridges the gap between Flemish and Walloon cultures, Du Welz’s “Ardennes”-trilogy…

Eastern order [family name followed by given name] for persons from China, North and South Korea.
Example: Bong Joon-ho’s auteurism is defined by his rich artistic collaboration with the star-actor Song Kang-ho. Gisaengchung (Parasite, 2019) is Bong and Song’s fourth collaboration. 

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders 

It is a mark of respect to refer to an Aboriginal person by their language or cultural group, if you know it.
Example: Yolngu man David Gulpilil has been deeply engaged in telling the “big, true” stories of his people.

Always capitalise the I in Indigenous and the A in Aboriginal when referring to people.

To refer to the entire Indigenous community, or if you don’t know someone’s clan, use terms like First Nations’, Indigenous Australians, Aboriginal Australians or Aboriginal people.

DO NOT USE terms like aborigine, natives or blacks. 

African diaspora

Capitalise the B in Black when pertaining to people who are a part of the African diaspora.
Example: Often called the godfather of Black British photography…

Persons employed in the sex industry 

When referring to persons employed in the sex industry (within a films diegesis or otherwise) their designation is sex worker(s), not prostitute(s).

Transgender and Gender diverse Glossary

Below is a glossary of terms to use when writing about transgender or gender diverse filmmakers or storylines.
Transgender: an adjective denoting someone who does not identify with the gender assigned at birth. Note that adjectives need to be attached to a noun.
Example: Tangerine is a comedy-drama following transgender sex worker Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) who realizes her boyfriend and pimp (James Ransone) has been cheating on her.
Cisgender: someone who identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
Gender diverse: someone who may have a range of gender identities and practices, combine different genders, or identify as having a non-binary gender.
Non-binary: when someone is not exclusively male or female. They may use first person singular pronouns to signal their non-binary gender, such as they/their/them.
Example: Ester Martin bergsmark is a non-binary filmmaker, their film Pojktanten (She Male Snails, 2012) very explicitly rejects gender binaries.
Gender dysphoria: the distress some transgender or gender diverse people feel when their body differs from other people of their gender.
Intersex: someone who was born with chromosomes, genitals, and/or reproductive organs that do not fit into cisgender binaries.
Gender affirmation surgery: refers to surgical procedures that align someone’s body with their gender identity.

DO NOT USE terms like transsexual or sex change. 


Formatting your references

Articles are to be Word documents or GoogleDocs with conventional endnotes.

Referencing style

Senses of Cinema uses Chicago style endnotes. Please format your references in the manner described above. Example citations are given below.


Len Lye, Figures of Motion (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1984), p. 31.

Book chapter

Ying Qian, “Working with Rubble: Montage, Tweets and the Reconstruction of an Activist Documentary” in China’s iGeneration: Cinema and Moving Image Culture for the Twenty-first Century, Matthew D. Johnson, Keith B. Wagner, Kiki Tianqi Yu and Luke Vulpiani, eds. (New York and London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014), p. 183.

Journal article

D.A. Miller, “Hitchcock’s Hidden Pictures,” Critical Inquiry, Issue 37 (Autumn 2010): p. 115.

Journal article online

Charles Leary, “Performing the Documentary, or Making it to the Other Bank,” Senses of Cinema, Issue 27 (July 2003).

Newspaper article

Tom Seymour, “Silent Horror: the Director of The Tribe on His Brutal Film About Life in a Deaf School,” The Guardian, 14 May 2015.

Personal interviews

Dan Torre, Interview with Max Hattler (Melbourne, 21 June 2015)