Call for Book Chapters: The Films of Denis Villeneuve

deadline for submissions: 
July 1, 2020
full name / name of organization: 
ReFocus: The International Directors Series, Edinburgh University Press
contact email: 


ReFocus: The Films of Denis Villeneuve

Edited by Jeri English and Marie Pascal

Edinburgh University Press

Series Editors: Gary D. Rhodes, Robert Singer and Stefanie Van de Peer


Québécois screenwriter and filmmaker Denis Villeneuve’s nimble creative spirit is reflected in his tremendously varied body of work. From the earlier, primarily French-language films that he wrote and directed – Un 32 août sur terre (1998), Maelström (2000), Polytechnique (2009) and Incendies (2010) – to the Canadian-Spanish coproduction of the enigmatic Enemy (2013), to his critically and commercially successful Hollywood films – Prisoners (2013), Sicario (2015), Arrival (2016) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) – Villeneuve explores questions of alterity and interculturality, of language and identity, of memory and forgetting, of violence and retribution.

Despite a body of work that counts nine currently released feature films (the tenth, Dune, is to be released later in 2020) and seven short films, and although he has won multiple industry awards, Villeneuve has not yet been the object of a monograph in any language. Some of his films are based on previously existing works of fiction or films (Incendies, Enemy, Arrival, Blade Runner 2049); accordingly, many of the articles that have appeared on these films deal with questions of adaptation or intermediality. Few scholarly articles have appeared on Un 32 août sur terre, Maelström, Prisoners, Enemy or Sicario; the scholarly work that exists on Polytechnique largely deals with the relation of this film to the real-life tragedy of the 1989 École Polytechnique massacre it re-enacts.

This volume of ReFocus: The International Directors series, published by Edinburgh University Press, seeks to engage with aspects of Villeneuve’s cinematic production, as both director and screenwriter, or simply as director. We welcome a wide range of comparative, theoretical or thematic approaches to all aspects of Villeneuve’s work, including but not limited to:

  • Technical/formal elements representative of Villeneuve’s production (sound, score, shots, camera movement, editing, etc.);
  • Representation of important themes (language, identity, marginality, alterity, interculturality, family, memory, maternity, aliens/monsters/the posthuman, war, etc.) in Villeneuve’s films;
  • Imagining the past, the present and the future (non-linear storytelling, atemporality, real and/or imagined past events, fantastical futures, etc.);
  • Experimentation and genre;
  • Interconnections between Villeneuve’s films and other cultural productions;
  • Villeneuve’s position as an international filmmaker: the relationship between writing and directing; the choice of actors, shooting locations, language, collaborators.


We invite abstract submissions of up to 500 words accompanied by a 100-word biography, to be sent to Jeri English ( and Marie Pascal ( by July 1, 2020. We will announce successful proposals by August 1, 2020; full chapters of 6500–7500 words in English will be due by December 31, 2020.