Jill Daniels

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Jill Daniels
Alma materWimbledon School of Art
University of the Arts London
Royal College of Art
University of East London
OccupationFilm director
Years active1976–present
EmployerUniversity of East London

Dr Jill Daniels is an award-winning British independent filmmaker and a Senior Lecturer in Film at University of East London[citation needed].

Early life[edit]

Daniels was born in Manchester, Lancashire, England and comes from a Jewish family of Romanian and Russian extraction. Leaving school at 16 and home when still a teenager and uncertain of what route her future career should take, she spent some time in Spain, working as a disco dancer and DJ in Madrid and Bilbao, as well as tending bar at the Fat Black Pussy Cat in the Carihuela, Torremolinos. Returning to England she became a single parent and studied fine art at Wimbledon School of Art. She received an M.A. in Film and Television from the Royal College of Art, London and gained her PhD at the University of East London. She was a founding member and the London Secretary of the Independent Filmmakers Association.


During the 1980s, Daniels worked for several years with the single homeless. As a fighter for women’s rights she joined the Working Women’s Charter Campaign and edited the newspaper Women’s Fight, from 1977 to 1981 where only women worked and that she says “gradually turned me into a political journalist.” This was from 1977 to 1981. In 1991 she was a jury member of the Huesca International Film Festival, Spain. She sees herself as an oppositional filmmaker, working outside the mainstream film and television industry. She co-edited and wrote a chapter for the book Truth, Dare or Promise: Art and Documentary Revisited (2013), Cambridge Scholars, London. She is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Media Practice.

Daniels' work has been shown, amongst others, at the Barbican, London, the National Film Theatre, London; the Cinematheque, Lisbon; the Flea Pit, London and at the film festivals Expanded Cinema, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Feminale, Cologne, Germany; Astra Film Festival, Sibiu, Romania; Athens International Film & Video Festival, Ohio, US; Creteil, France; Nuoro, Sardinia; Taipei, Taiwan; British Film Festival, Los Angeles; Ann Arbor, USA. In 2011 she toured Australia with her updated version of Next Year in Lerin.

Her films are distributed by 10 Francs, France; National Film Network, US; Cinenova, UK and can be seen on Vimeo.

In April 2018, Daniels was one of 40 senior academics who wrote an open letter to The Guardian condemning what they called anti-Corbyn bias in media coverage of the antisemitism debate saying it was "framed in such a way as to mystify the real sources of anti-Jewish bigotry and to weaponise it against a single political figure just ahead of important elections."[1]

Awards and grants[edit]

Grants from the Hubert Bals Fund, Rotterdam Film Festival; The Open Society Human Rights Film Fund now incorporated into the Sundance Film Festival; South East Arts, UK; Northern Arts, UK; Border Television, UK; Macedonian Human Rights Society, Canada; Report International Ltd

  • My Private Life II Best Experimental Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, 2017
  • My Private Life II Nominated for Innovation Award, Arts & Humanities Research Council Film Awards, 2016.
  • My Private Life Honorable Mention, Athens International Film & Video Festival, Athens, Ohio, USA, 2015
  • Not Reconciled, Special Mention, Festival de Cine de Granada, Spain, 2010
  • The Border Crossing, 3rd prize for best documentary feature, Athens International Film & Video Festival, Athens, Ohio, USA, 2012.
  • Small Town Girl, best documentary feature at filmdirecting4women film festival, UK, 2010; best UK documentary, British Film Festival, Los Angeles, US, 2009; Nominated best UK documentary, Swansea Life Film Festival, Wales, 2008;
  • Fool’s Gold, Jury award, Athens International Film & Video Festival, Athens, Ohio, US, 2003. Audience Award Best American Folk Film, Dahlonega International Film Festival, Dahlonega, Georgia, US, 2003. Audience Award Best Documentary Feature, Downstream International Film Festival, Gainesville, Georgia, US, 2002.
  • I’m In Heaven, Best Fiction Film, Huesca International Film Festival, Huesca, Spain, 1990.


My Private Life II (2015) 25 mins. colour, video My Private Life (2013) 63 mins. colour, video

  • The Border Crossing (2011) 47 min. colour, video
  • Not Reconciled (2009) 41 min, colour, video
  • Small Town Girl (2007) 82 min, colour, video
  • Lost in Gainesville (2005 ) 55 min, colour, video
  • Spirits (2003) 5 min, colour, video
  • Fool’s Gold (2002) 55 min, colour, video
  • Next Year In Lerin (2000) 45 min, colour, video
  • Killing Time' (2000) 3 min, colour, video
  • Skin Deep (1998) 40 min, colour video
  • Assault (1994) 11 min, colour, 16mm
  • Secret Heart (1994) 25 min, colour, 16mm
  • Exiles (1992) 45 min, colour, 16mm
  • I’m In Heaven (1989) colour, 30 min, 16mm
  • Debacle (1977) 50 mins, b&w, 16mm
  • Description (1974) 37 min, b&w, 16mm, Double Screen
  • Rooms/Figures (1973) 10 min, b&w, 16mm

References & Bibliography[edit]

“A life full of contradictions dedicated to film” Huesca International Film Festival Newspaper; June 1991


  1. ^ "Stop Jeremy Corbyn's trial by media over antisemitism". The Guardian. 2 April 2018. Retrieved 7 April 2018.

External links[edit]