Poetry film festivals: upcoming deadlines and more

First, a reminder that at least FIVE festivals devoted to poetry films are currently open for submission: Trevigliopoesia Festival (deadline: March 1), The Body Electric Poetry Film Festival (deadline: March 21), Filmpoem Festival (deadline: May 1), DOCtorCLIP Roma Poetry Film Festival (deadline: May 15) and Visible Verse Festival (deadline: August 1).

In addition, for those who missed the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin last fall, there will be a reprise showing of some of the best films at the Kosmopolis International Literature Fest, March 14-16 in Barcelona. The blog post announcing this includes a good thumbnail history of ZEBRA and of poetry-film generally. Here’s a snippet:

In the early 20th century poets were as much inspired by the cinema as filmmakers by poetry. The first film adaptation of the poem ‘Twas the Night before Christmas’ (1822) by Clement Clark Moore was made in 1905 in the studios of Thomas Alva Edison. Another very early testimony to the influence of poetry on the great directors is the film The Unchanging Sea (1910) by D. W. Griffith after the poem of the same title by Charles Kingsley. Charles Sheeler and Paul Strand, with their futuristic adaptation of Walt Whitman’s city melancholia in their film Manhatta (1921), set standards which still apply today. L’invitation au voyage (F 1927) by Germaine Dulac is a timeless interpretation of Charles Baudelaire’s ‘Les Fleurs du Mal’ or Combat de Boxe (B 1927) by Charles Dekeukeleire after a poem by Paul Werrie. In L’Etoile de Mer (F 1928) by Man Ray lines from Robert Desnos’ 1928 poem »La place de l’etoile« are faded in on boards. And of course Un chien andalou (1929) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí with its poetic system. These are only some examples of the early poetry adaptations.

The constantly rising number of entries demonstrates the growing worldwide popularity of the genre and the necessity of this festival. Of all the programmes organised by the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is the most-booked, receiving invitations from throughout the world. It is regularly invited to take part in festivals from Buenos Aires to Taipei. In 2010–2012 alone it has been a guest in many countries including Algeria, Dubai, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Lithuania, Malta, India, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Colombia, Ireland, Norway and Ukraine.

It’s definitely an exciting time for directors and fans of videopoetry/filmpoetry. Needless to say, there are a myriad other film festivals held annually around the world, and many if not most may be open to submissions of at least some types of poetry films.

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