David Hanan


After teaching literature at Monash and Melbourne Universities, and taking a Post-graduate Diploma in Film Studies at University College London, I established Film Studies courses in the Dept of Visual Arts at Monash.

In the 1980s, for seven years I was honorary company secretary of the Melbourne International Film Festival, and in this capacity set up links between the Indonesian film world and Australian film festivals and filmmakers. I was the editor of Film in South East Asia: Views from the Region (Hanoi: SEAPAVAA and the Vietnam Film Institute, 2001).

I have successfully supervised half a dozen PhDs, on a wide variety of topics; done translations for subtitles for more than a dozen Indonesian films; initiated several film preservation projects; and, in addition to teaching, supervision and research work at Monash, am currently curator of ‘Between Three Worlds DVD’ (a division of the MAI Press) that distributes South East Asian films internationally.

At Monash I have taught film form, film history, documentary film, film theory, Asian cinema and European cinema, and in 2000 introduced a unit in video and DVD production. I am currently completing a book on Indonesian cinema from 1950 to 2010.


MA (University of Melbourne), PGDip(FilmStudies) (University College London), BA, Hons (University of Melbourne)

Curriculum Vitae

David Hanan CV [PDF 115 kb]


Indonesian and South East Asian Cinema

My research has focused on film in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. Currently I am completing a book on issues of innovation, cultural difference, and political resistance in the Indonesian cinema since 1950.

Representations of Asia in Australian Newsreels, Documentaries and Television Current Affairs

I have researched on the representation of Asia in documentaries and current affairs produced since 1930, including representations of Indonesia in the colonial period, and of changing Australian inflections of orientalism. My current work is on contemporary current affairs TV representations of Asia.

Alternative Forms of Distribution for South East Asian Film

As a lecturer teaching production as well as film studies, in my research I engage with alternative frameworks for making available films from Southeast Asia. This has involved working with Indonesian filmmakers on film preservation projects, translations for subtitling, and the distribution internationally on DVD of films from Indonesia.

Selected Publication

  • Hanan, D. (2010) ‘Betawi Moderen: Songs and Films of Benyamin S from Jakarta in the 1970s: Further Dimensions of Indonesian Popular Culture’, Indonesia, No. 90.
  • Hanan, D. (2010) ‘Innovation and Tradition in Indonesian Cinema’, Third Text, Vol 24, No. 1.
  • Hanan, D. (2008) ‘Changing Social Formations in Indonesian and Thai Teen Movies’, in Heryanto, A. edited Popular Culture in Indonesia: Fluid Identities in Post-Authoritarian Politics, London and New York, Routledge.
  • Hanan, D. (2007) ‘Fellow Travellers: What Newsreels and Documentaries about Asia reveal of the History of Australia’s Geopolitical Attitudes’, Meanjin, Vol 66, No. 2.
  • Hanan, D. (2001) Film in South East Asia, Views from the Region: essays on film in ten South East Asia-Pacific Countries. Hanoi, SEAPAVAA, Vietnam Film Institute and National Film and Sound Archive of Australia.