Call for Submissions

In preparation for our annual World Poll, Senses of Cinema invites contributors and readers to reflect on their cinema highlights of 2021.

In 2021, the bat plague continues to push film culture and filmmaking in new directions across the globe. Some productions were sent down under, others were moved from our island home to the Czech Republic. Theatrical releases played a disappearing and reappearing act, with a dash of straight-to-streaming services, while the film festival circuit found itself in a similar tango. In amongst the chaos, new possibilities and practice emerged. Babardeală cu bucluc sau porno balamuc (Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, Radu Jude, 2021) was in pre-production when COVID-19 entered the European Union. After incorporating the virus into the films’ diegesis, Radu Jude’s latest work took home the Golden Bear award at the 71st Berlinale. Other festival favourites basking in plague-induced production restraints include Language Lessons’ (Natalie Morales, 2021) and Malcolm & Marie (Sam Levinson, 2021). Online film clubs gained further traction, with many of us continuing the serious and eclectic discussion of cinema in our own, informal fashion. Some of us became acquainted with the vast backlog of streaming services or decided to hone in on specific auteurs, historical periods or genres of our choosing. The hard pivot into cyberspace has meant that some curators’ content reached international audiences for the first time.

In this call, we invite you to reflect on your film viewing in 2021, and collate your cinematic highlights. We ask you to categorise your lists according to:

  1. Films released for the first time in 2021 (festivals, cinemas, streaming services)
  2. Older films encountered for the first time in 2021 (seen in festivals, cinematheques, re-releases, home entertainment, streaming channels, etc) &….
  3. Given the special circumstances of 2021, we also ask readers to mention any online or hybrid festivals you ‘attended’ and that you felt presented a really good program and experience (and why?)

There is a 1000 word limit per entry.

Submissions can consist of lists of films, which may be briefly annotated or not according to your preference, and can be organised however you see fit (alphabetically, ranked, grouped etc).

Each film title must be listed in the original language (except for Japanese, Chinese and Russian, and so on, where transliterations are preferred), accompanied by an English translation (if required), the director’s name and the film’s release date. The title must be as given on the film, with accents included. For example: Zgjoi (Hive, Blerta Basholli, 2021).

Please remember to include your author by-line. No more than one line, please.

The deadline for contributions is Wednesday 29 December 2021. However, Senses would greatly appreciate submissions as soon as possible. Late submissions will not be published.

Please email your submissions to

Entries will be published at Senses of Cinema‘s discretion. All submissions will receive an acknowledgement of receipt by 5 January 2022. The world poll will be published on Senses of Cinema in January 2022. If you wish to review previous World Polls, they can be accessed at

Thank you, and we look forward to your contributions.

Senses of Cinema

Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn