Poetryfilmkanal website launches, issues call for essays to publish in magazine

Poetryfilmkanal banner

After a slight delay from their projected February launch, the German website Poetryfilmkanal debuted this week, and I was happy to be able to add such a promising new site to the Moving Poems links page. Most of the content so far is in German, but it still has some useful features for Anglophone (and other) readers—especially the Calendar of world-wide poetry film events and the bibliography (Lektüretipps).

As the latter page suggests, this is a scholarly site. Here’s a machine translation from Google of the background page (Die Idee), edited for clarity:

Poetryfilmkanal—Poetry Film Channel—is an e-platform designed to carry ideas and information about the genre of poetry film. It was founded as a joint project between the Multimedia Narration degree program at the Bauhaus University Weimar and the Thüringen Society of Literature, incorporated [e. V.] by Aline Helmcke and Guido Naschert.

Examples of the cinematic adaptation of poetry, or poetic-associative design of short films related to poetry, can be found since the beginning of film history. With the advent of new media design options, a global poetry film movement has emerged in the last two decades. A growing number of festivals and contests, seminars, blogs and scientific publications have made for a confusing field. In addition, the standards by which poetry films are judged (and supported financially) are still very diffuse. The genre is often referred to, but without being explained – and misunderstood accordingly.

Poetryfilmkanal will supply information about this wild field, invite dialogue and contribute to the formation of concepts. With an international calendar of screenings and festivals (Calendar) and regular information on contests (Deadlines), ways to produce and view poetry films will become ​​more transparent. Short articles showcase particularly valuable short films on a monthly basis (Film of the Month). Poetryfilmkanal also imparts basic knowledge of the history of poetry films (Timeline), shares references (Reading Guide) and tries to find a network of relevant web content (Links).

The core of the site is the Magazine that tracks the blog about three quarters of a year on a specific theme, before all the posts appear in an ePaper edition—just the Poetry Film Magazine archived. The editorial provides an introduction to the topic. Essayistic and literary texts in German and English will monitor the genre or introduce artists and authors. In addition, the blog will contain “excavations”: historical poetry films, interviews, festival reports and meetings. And an English translation of German contributions will be provided in the future.

This all sounds very ambitious. Two films have already been included in the Film of the Month feature, and the inaugural editorial, “Faszination Poetryfilm?” has been made available in English translation. I urge anyone with an interest in the genre to go read the whole thing; I’ll just quote the final two paragraphs:

We decided to open the blog’s discussion on a very general level in order to prepare the ground for more specific investigations in future editions. What makes an engaging poetry film? By which characteristics a poetry film is able to develop a certain fascination? Is there any general answer or do we have to look more precisely into the categories of live action and animation film? Are there certain sorts of poems which are particularly suitable for a translation into the audio-visual media? In which way do sound and voice-over determine the outcome? How come so many poetry films appear to only scratch the surface and fail to take us deeper into the meaning of the poem?

The discussion will consist of short blogs in an open form, about 3000-4000 signs in length. We will invite practitioners in the field to contribute their texts but encourage and welcome anyone interested to submit their own statement or opinion. By the end of this year, we aim at publishing the first edition of the Poetry Film Magazine from the texts and statements received.

We are looking forward to an engaging and lively discussion!
All the Best,
Aline Helmcke, Guido Naschert

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.