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Thomas Caldwell

Author, Curriculum Specialist, Education Consultant

Thomas Caldwell is a writer, broadcaster, film critic, public speaker and film programmer. He is a specialist in film analysis and programming films for children and teenagers, and is the author of the secondary school textbook Film Analysis Handbook, which was published in 2005 by Insight Publications, with a revised edition published in 2017.

He has been delivering film as text lectures to English and Literature students, as well as teacher workshops on film analysis, for almost two decades. He can deliver presentations on specific films on request and some of the films he has previously lectured on include Rear Window (1954), All About Eve (1950), On the Waterfront (1954), The Truman Show (1998), Batman Begins (2005), Skyfall (2012), The Player (1992), Gattaca (1997), The Dark Knight (2008), 500 Days of Summer (2009), Paradise Road (1997), Water (2005), Look Both Ways (2005) and Blade Runner (1982).

Thomas is currently the Artistic Director of the Children’s International Film Festival (Australia) and formally worked as a film programmer at the Melbourne International Film Festival, which included programming MIFF Schools (formally Next Gen) for six years.

He can be heard reviewing films on Afternoons once a fortnight on ABC Radio Melbourne, and was previously a regular guest on The Book Show (formerly Books and Arts) on ABC RN where he discussed book to film adaptations. Thomas used to also be a regular voice on Triple R (3RRR 102.7FM) as the producer and co-host of film criticism show Plato’s Cave and the film reviewer on the Breakfasters.

Thomas is experienced delivering film as text lectures and workshops to students and teachers, moderating Q&As, hosting In Conversation events and taking part in panel discussions. His film reviews, articles and interviews have appeared in The AgeOverland Literary JournalSenses of CinemaMetro, Screen Education and The Big Issue. He won the Ivan Hutchinson Award for Writing on Australian Film in the 2010 and 2015 Australian Film Critics Association (AFCA) Writing Awards.

Click here to read Thomas’s interview with the University of Melbourne about his career.

What are you passionate about?

Making cinema exciting, diverse and relevant to young people, but also equipping them with the tools to be critical thinkers and active viewers in order to appreciate context, representation and identification.


Thomas’ workshop was excellent. His presentation clearly took participants through the various aspects of film analysis and terminology and in many cases exposed them to a range of films and techniques they had not considered before. It was relevant and put everyone on the same page for film study. Feedback from everyone is extremely positive. To be honest, he took away the fear of teaching film for quite a few people.

—J. Hickey, Good Shepherd Lutheran College, February 2014

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