~ Art Visuals & Poetry Festival ~

Call for work: Art Visual & Poetry, 14-17 November 2023, Vienna

A call for work is now open for this biennial Austrian festival, with live screenings in Vienna in November. The main poetry film competition is for German-speaking countries, Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Supporting this are two supporting awards: the Poetry Performance Film award for international shorts of up to 7 minutes of performance films from poetry slam, visual arts, dance and drama; and the Special Award which is for films based on the festival poem La Luna by Manfred Chobot.

More information about all the competitions is on the website: https://www.poetryfilm-vienna.com/en/opencall-2023

Film festival news: Art Visuals & Poetry program; calls for work from Carmethan Bay, At the Fringe

2020 International Screening of Experimental Films and Videopoems AT THE FRINGE

In last week’s round-up I gave the Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival too brief a mention since I hadn’t found much in English. But I just got a bilingual press release from organizer Sigrun Höllrigl, so I can rectify that. Here’s the English portion of her email. Note that the link at the end also goes to an English-language schedule of events.

FOCUS USA / International film guests
The Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival will take place for the fifth time from November 29 to December 1, 2019 at the METRO Kinokulturhaus in Vienna. In addition to four competition programmes, Poetry Live and film talks with international guests, numerous curated film programmes will be shown. This year’s focus is on poetry films from the USA. Founded in 2013 by Sigrun Höllrigl, the Poetry Film Festival has grown steadily since its beginnings and, with 101 film screenings on three days it is currently the second largest poetry film festival world-wide. In addition to Todd Boss (Motionpoems USA), film guests from Dubai, Belgium, Germany and Ireland have announced their arrival and are expected to attend. Including the domestic film scene, 40 contributing artists will join the festival.
In 2019, two international competitions were announced and 170 films submitted, 63 art works came from Austria. The festival will award cash prizes to 4 films: The Main Jury Prize and Special Award (poem by Sophie Reyer) will be awarded on the recommendation of the jury. The Hubert Sielecki Prize goes to an Austrian poetry film of his choice. This year, for the first time, the Audience Prize will be awarded among international films.  Have a look at the festival and vote for the winner on Saturday night! Festival tickets can be ordered via the ticket service of the Metro Kinokulturhaus. Phone +43 1 512 18 03 daily from 14:00–21:00 or via reservierung@filmarchiv.at
Find the festival programme online https://www.poetryfilm-vienna.com/en/timetable/2019
We are looking forward to welcoming you at the festival!

* * *

My co-editor Marie Craven is currently on the road (for the poetry film cause) but alerted me to two new-to-me festivals that are still open for submissions:

Carmarthen Bay Film Festival

This Welsh festival includes a POETIC CINEMA section for the first time this year:

Poetry film is a subgenre of film that fuses the use of spoken word poetry, visual images, and sound to create a stronger presentation and interpretation of the meaning being conveyed. This fusion of image and spoken word (both independent and interdependent) creates what William Wees called the “Poetry-film” genre.
We are looking for Submissions that:
• Are based upon an interesting concept;
• Are innovative;
• Are well crafted; and
• Create an emotional resonance

The sidebar category dropdown elaborates:

Poets, filmmakers, and media artists are called to submit their work to this brand new category. We will accept submissions of poetry films, filmpoems, digital-poetry, poetry video, Cin(E)-Poetry, spoken word films, videopoema, visual poetry, poetrinca, media poetry, and all films that are visually driven by text. Eligible submissions must have a maximum length of 40 minutes. CBFF cannot be held liable or responsible for any claim involving copyright, trademark, credits, or royalty infringement.Entries that are not in English must be subtitled in English.

Unfortunately, it’s rather pricey to enter—currently USD $45—so I kind of doubt that they’ll get many submissions from the more avant-garde sub-genres they include in their list. This strikes me as a bunch of film industry types wanting to add a bit of experimental cachet to their program, while not actually welcoming scruffier poets and auteurs. Interesting as a possible sign of the times, though.

AT THE FRINGE International Arts Festival

AT THE FRINGE International Arts Festival will take place in Tranås (Sweden) from 27th June to 4th July 2020.
The film section of the festival is focused on screening experimental films and videopoems from all over the world and we are happy to open the new call for films!
Submit your film in one of these three sections: […]
A collection of precious stones. We are looking for videopoems, those films that stand on the border between audiovisual languages and words – written or performed. The festival is open to national and international filmmakers. Any film with no limitation of theme or duration is welcome to apply.
The videopoems submitted must have a duration of maximum 30 minutes (opening and ending credits included). They must include subtitles in English or Swedish (where the original language is not one of these two). There is no limitation for the number of works that each author can submit.

It’s great to see something like this in Sweden. And this time, the entry fee is more affordable: USD $10. The deadline is 31 March.

Deadline extended for Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival Vienna

Just signal-boosting some news from the latest Art Visuals & Poetry Newsletter:

The deadline of the major competition [for] German speaking countries has been extended to May 20. The next Poetry Film Festival Vienna will take place from November 29 to December 1, 2019 at Metro Kinokulturhaus. There is also a intercontinental poetry film competition called SPECIAL AWARD after a given festival poem by Sophie Reyer. The festival offers this poem as a free sound recording under Creative Commons including English translation. Check the rules & guidelines of submitting to the Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival Vienna.

In addition to the competitions, the international programme of the Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival 2019 is dedicated to the host country USA. The American poetry film specialist Todd Boss will travel from Minneapolis to present his production label Motionpoems. So far Motionpoems has produced 120 film adaptations of poems. The non-profit production label recently launched the largest international poetry film competition in the USA, the EPIPHANY Awards.

Alongside Todd Boss, leading German curators Thomas Zandegiacomo del Bel and Winfried Bettmer will be guests at the international Poetry Film Festival. This international get-together of important curators was made possible by the support of the American and German embassies in Vienna, for which we would like to express our sincere thanks! With its international focus, the Vienna Poetry Film Festival has once again established itself as the second largest poetry film festival in the world after ZEBRA Berlin.

We are looking forward to welcome you in Vienna!

The deadline for the Special Award is much later—August 30, according to FilmFreeway.

Updates from Art Visuals & Poetry / Vienna Poetry Film Festival

It’s the off-year for the biannual Poetry Film Festival in Vienna, but that doesn’t mean they’re sitting on their hands. Here’s the English-language portion of their latest emailed newsletter:

The preparations for the next Poetry Film Festival in Vienna have started. During the festival pause there are several poetry film screenings in Austria:
August, 15, 2018 Millstatt, Carinthia  – curated by Hubert Sielecki
September 27, 2018,  Austrian Society of Literature Vienna – curated by Anita C. Schaub
October 9, 2018, International Poetry Film screening, Künstlerhaus Vienna – curated by Sigrun Höllrigl

For the ones, who want to submit again to the next poetry film festival. The submission period will start around begin of December 2018 and will last appr. until April 2019. The next festival will take place in November 2019 at Metro Kinokulturhaus Vienna. Keep in touch with informations in English on www.poetryfilm-vienna.com.

Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival Vienna 2017 winners announced

Vienna Poetry Film Festival winners

From the front page of poetryfilm-vienna.com/en:


The award winners 2017

People, we had three great days with lots of fantastic poetry shorts. The festival donates 5 prizes. The festival awarded the Austrian animator Gudrun Krebitz for her film “Exomoon” with the main festival prize. The Rilke Competition prize or Special Award goes to Sebastian and Daniel Selke for their interpretation “rilke überoffen”. The only Honorable Mention of the Vienna Poetry Film Festival goes to Andrea Capranico from Italy for “The Landscape Within”. The Hubert Sielecki Award for the best Austrian poetry film of the festival goes to Moritz Stieber “Die Tatsachen im Fall Waldemar”. The OKTO audience award goes to Christian Heinbockel for his film “Lass uns von Liebe sprechen” or “Let´s speak about love”. Stay tuned. We will publish the jury statements soon!

Go here for the post in German.

Poetry film screening season is upon us!

Autumn is here, and with it the annual parade of poetry film festivals and screenings that do so much to expose new audiences to this still obscure hybrid genre. Many of the films shown in these events are yet not available to watch on the web (and some may never be), besides which most films do deserve to be seen on the big screen, so please try to support live events like these. Here’s a rather too brief run-down, including one that just concluded.

September 28-October 1: Festival Silêncio, Lisbon, “Isto Não é um Filme. É Um Poema” (That’s Not a Film. It’s a Poem) competition. Just in, here are the results:


Prémio Especial do Júri Competição Nacional:
‘Dia’ de Rita Quelhas

‘A Montanha’ de Pedro Caldeira

‘Running Man’ de Pedro Sena Nunes


Vencedor Internacional
‘Spree’ de Martin Kelly & Ian McBryde

Prémio de Público Internacional
‘Vaccine’ de Kate Sweeney

October 7: Juteback Poetry Film Festival Fall Screening, Fort Collins, Colorado (USA). There’s an annotated list of the films on their website.

October 13: My Eyes Like Rays: National Poetry Competition Filmpoem screening & poetry reading, Poetry Cafe, London (UK). “Filmpoem makers James William Norton, Helmie Stil and Sarah Tremlett will screen all ten NPC films.” I’m glad the Poetry Society is still promoting poetry films, and I hope to be able to share some of them when they’re released to the web.

October 15: 5th Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition screening, Cork (Ireland). Click the foregoing link for the shortlist as well as time and place details.

October 21: Rabbit Heart Poetry film Festival, Worcester, Massachusetts (USA). Here are the 2017 shortlists. (That’s right, they have more than one. And if you think some of them are actually rather long, you should see the longlist. This year they received over 350 submissions from 41 countries!) And here’s the trailer.

October 28: Filmpoem Festival 2017, Lewes, East Sussex (UK). A few more details about the event are on Facebook.

October 28: Cinema Poetica, Ashland, Oregon (USA)

November 9-11: Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival, Vienna (Austria). Click through and use the drop-down menus to peruse the programs for the multiple components of this supremely well-organized event — now the second largest poetry film festival in the world, with 82 films screening over three days. Here’s the trailer.

November 25-26: 6th CYCLOP Poetry Film Festival, Kiev (Ukraine). The submissions period just closed, so I’m guessing it will be a few weeks until the shortlist is released.

Call for entries: Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival 2017

The Vienna-based Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival 2017 is 11 months away, but they’ve already issued a call for submissions. The deadline is March 30. Here’s the English-language version of their call. Note that the primary focus of the festival is on German-language films, but, they say,

we will increase the amount of international film screenings by adding another festival day. It will be a single day for international films. These films will be chosen by curators within a network of European poetry film festivals.

MAIN COMPETITION Please be aware: We can only accept competition entries from German speaking countries (residency or nationality) for the main competition. German language in the films is wanted. Exceptions will be made, when the literature shorts show an outstanding quality and offer German subtitles.

INTERNATIONAL AWARD We know, that there is a great interest from the international community to participate. Therefore we have created a second competition called „SPECIAL AWARD“  after a given festival poem. This competition is open to film makers from all over the world. For the next Poetry Film Festival we have chosen a love poem from Rainer Maria Rilke. It is called „To Lou Andre Salome“. The poem was written in 1911. You can download the spoken version of Rainer Maria Rilkes’ „Tou Lou Andre Salome“ in German for free. We also provide you with a licensed English translation of the festival poem under creative commons. It’s very interesting, that this kind of competition attracts many professionals who like to experience different versions of films based on the same text. On the other hand, it offers people a easy chance to make their first poetry movie in their life.

SIDE PROGRAM Beside the competition screenings we will offer an international film program in co-operation with selected curators, talks, poetry readings and a multimedia performance. Please keep in touch with us to find out more about the festival program.

CURATORS & JURY The Art Visuals & Poetry Filmfestival in Vienna is directed by Sigrun Höllrigl. Hubert Sielecki supports her as a curator. Beside there will be an independent competition jury selecting the winner films and honorable mentions.

PRIZES There will be two prizes for the winners. The prize-money will be fixed with our partners and sponsors. I can not go into details. Due to a major change in art funding in Austria, we will know the results very late this time – it means appr. 4 months before the festival start. We now plan to award the best film of both competition with a cash prize.

FESTIVAL Selected films will be presented in curated programs during the Art Visuals & Poetry Filmfestival Nov 9-11, 2017 in Vienna. We will let you know our program over the website.Beside the festival we organize poetry film screenings with other partners. Please let us know, if you want to be part of it.

SUBMISSIONS  Competition deadline is March 30, 2017. The screening copies of the selected film makers should arrive until June 30, 2017. You can submit by following this link and by filling in this online submission form. For all platform users of filmfreeway and festhome there’s an entrance fee of 15 Euro to cover the efforts selecting the specific poetry films among the submitted films.  Please read carefully the guidelines! We are a Poetry Film Festival!  We only take literature & poetry films either from German speaking countries or poetry films dedicated to the given Rilke poem of the festival.

CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION /  GUIDELINES & RULES / Deadline for entries March 30, 2017

For a successful participation these rules need to be followed:

-The submitted literary short film or poetry film has a length of 2 until 20 minutes max. and is based on a literary short text or poem.
-EITHER: The film maker or director has an Austrian, German or Swiss passport or residency. Further international collaborations (composer, writer) in the team are welcomed. OR for the second competition: The film is based on our festival poem from Rainer Maria Rilke. You can make a new recording based on the German original text or use the voice recording we offer. Remixes of the existing voice over are allowed.
– The film is not older than 10 years (2007).
– The film has not been submitted before.
– ART VISUALS & POETRY is granted the right to screen the film in the context of the competition and the festival.
– The application and copyright declaration arrive in time. Deadline is March 30, 2017. We prefer a sighting via internet link (password protected, vimeo, You Tube, dropbox). You can onpass additional film information via e-mail: office@poetry.or.at
– SCREENING FORMAT:  We only accept films in the following formats: mov or mp4 File, H264, Sound uncompressed, 48 000 kHz, 16 bit. The films will be converted into DCP format.

We wish you good luck & happy work!

Sigrun Höllrigl, your festival directrice & her team

Upcoming videopoetry and poetry film festivals

Book your tickets! The annual autumn parade of poetry film festivals is about to begin. Some calls are still open: for the Vienna, Ó Bhéal and CYCLOP festivals (see below), and for the as-yet-unscheduled 5th Sadho Poetry Film Fest (deadline: October 30) and International Film Poetry Festival in Athens (deadline: November 20). And don’t forget that submissions to Zata Banks’ PoetryFilm screenings series never close.

September 15-19, Vilnius, Lithuania

TARP Audiovisual Poetry Festival 10: INTER-states

This year‘s special touch – audiozine, which will see poets Dainius Gintalas, Laima Kreivytė, Marius Burokas, Benediktas Januševičius, Agnė Žagrakalytė and others being recorded reading poetry in their favourite settings.

The last day of the festival TARP 10 will be dedicated to TARP academy, together with video poetry researchers Sarah Lucas and Lucy English from Great Britain, andan open discussion with the festival guests. The closing of the festival will be crowned as usual by an open mic readings and the opening of the „INTER-states“ exhibition – because it is just the festival that will end, while poetic states will flutter in the air for long afterwards.

September 30, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Big Bridges Film Festival

Mark your calendar for September 30, 2015 when we will reveal the winners of the Big Bridges Film Contest! The event, hosted by MotionPoems and the Target Studio at the Weisman Art Museum, will include a special screening of selected films from the contest. All are welcome!

More details coming soon at www.BigBridgesWAM.com!

October 4-11, Cork, Ireland

Ó Bhéal @ IndieCork Film Festival
Submissions open until September 15

This is Ó Bhéal’s sixth year of screening poetry-films (or video-poems) and the third year featuring an International competition.

Up to thirty films will be shortlisted and screened during the festival, from 4th-11th October 2015.

October 10-11, Worcester, MA, USA

Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival

Rabbit Heart 2015 will once again be at the delightful Nick’s Bar in Worcester, MA! This year there will be two shows–

Showcase Matinee – Saturday, October 10th 12-3pm
Join us for lunch, and check out some of the fantastic material that we wish we had time to share at the awards ceremony (we got SO many good entries this year!) We will screen the best of the best that didn’t fall into prize categories, as well as curated showcases from renowned UK archivist Zata Banks of PoetryFilm. Watch this space for more information on the individual showcases.

Awards Ceremony and Viewing Party – Sunday, October 11th 8pm (doors at 7:30)
The show you’ve been waiting all year for – the best of the best, the handing out of trophies, popcorn and fancy dresses, and your lovely emcees Tony Brown and Melissa Mitchell! Come meet your judges and cheer for your finalists – and see who takes home the sparkle-hearted bunny for Best Overall Production.

October 17, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Visible Verse 2015 Festival

Presented by The Cinematheque since 2000, Visible Verse is one of the longest-running video poetry festivals in the world. Video poetry is a hybrid creative form bringing together verse and moving images. Visible Verse selects its annual program from hundreds of submissions received from local, national, and international artists.

On the occasion of the 2015 festival, The Cinematheque says a fond farewell and expresses its great gratitude to Heather Haley, founder of Visible Verse and its curator and host from 2000 to 2014. We welcome Vancouver poet Ray Hsu into his new role as Visible Verse’s artistic director.

November 20 and 22, Kyiv, Ukraine

5th CYCLOP International Videopoetry Festival
Submissions open until September 30

The festival programme features video poetry-related lectures, workshops, round tables, discussions, presentations of international contests and festivals, as well as a demonstration of the best examples of Ukrainian and world videopoetry, a competitive program, an awards ceremony and other related projects.

December 5-6, Vienna, Austria

Poetry Filmfestival Vienna (AKA Art Visuals & Poetry Festival)
Submissions from German-speaking countries open until September 15

After an inspiring Poetry Film Festival in 2014 we are happy to go on in 2015. What´s new in 2015? We found a new festival location in middle of city center. Metro Kinokulturhaus. It’s one the most beautiful cinemas in Vienna and the result of a new cooperation with Filmarchiv Austria.

New essays at Poetryfilmkanal from Javier Robledo, Ram Devineni and Sigrun Höllrigl

The German website Poetryfilmkanal has continued its broad, international focus and clockwork regularity with its weekly series of short essays. On July 12, Vienna-based Art Visuals & Poetry (Film)Festival organizer Sigrun Höllrigl contributed “Meine dreifache Faszination für den Poetry Film“—”My triple fascination with the Poetry Film,” according to Google Translate. She wrote about her differing yet complementary perspectives on the genre as a film curator, as a filmmaker and as a poet.

The poet is sometimes at odds with the requirement that linguistic complexity and formal perfection in the sense of formal hermeticism make the film version of a text very difficult. Not all my lyrical texts are suitable for a cinematic presentation. The meaning of the words must be detectable in film speed. Unlike with a book, there is not a natural pause in the movie. What is needed are simple sentences that offer a meaning to the surface, or recorded speech with poetic touch. Good Poetry Film texts are compacted, reduced, and more minimal in their linguistic complexity compared to a poem. The more reduced, the better the simple text, the more space is created for the image. Repeated words or nonsense lyrics are stylistic devices that have proven their suitability. In Poetry Film autocracy of the picture is resolved by the language.

Last Sunday, it was Ram Devineni’s turn. Devineni is “a filmmaker, publisher and founder of Rattapallax films and magazine,” and his essay addressed “Poetry Film Reality,” championing a style of film focused on the poet that he refers to as a poetry-based film, which he says is an ideal form for many beginning filmmakers as well as a good fit for festival programming. I was especially struck by his conclusion:

Soon this small and vibrant genre is going to be challenged with new technological formats that are already challenging traditional fiction and documentary filmmakers. One such technology is virtual reality (VR) which allows the user to fully immerse themselves into an alternative world through a headset like Oculus VR or Google Cardboard. Some of the best VR stories challenge your senses by bending reality. While others create empathy with the subjects you encounter by allowing you to live their experiences. I think VR is ripe for remarkable collaborations between poets and VR designers for the same reasons poetry-based films were for filmmakers and poets. Currently all VR modules are short because of the lengthy time it takes to create them and the large files sizes that need to be downloaded. Virtual reality, like poetry-based films, lets the designer to interpret the poem and go deep into the metaphors. I am curious what ingenious new work will be created in the new emerging genre of ›virtual reality based poems‹? I am sure someone is working on the first one.

Today’s essay is by Javier Alejandro Robledo, organizer of the long-running Videobardo festival in Buenos Aires: “Die archaische Faszination am Poetryfilm“—”The archaic fascination of Poetry Film.” Judging again by Google Translate, Robledo began his historical overview in the Pleistocene:

The director Werner Herzog showed in an artistic way in his film Cave of Forgotten Pictures how petroglyphs came to move in the wavering light of the torches, and proto-cinematic style was formed. I imagine that these projections were accompanied by dances, music and magical-poetic recitations. The magical significance that is the fascination of such projections is the result of their own origin. The dialogue between the moving image, a poetic word, sound and body is so archaic, its origin a magical ritual — from this the fascination derived. From that archaic form until today, every new technology of audiovisual poetry has given new possibilities of expression and invented new special languages, all of which I want the term “Audiovisual” to encompass.

He too concluded with a look ahead:

Today there are about 15 festivals for poetry films and video poetry in the world. Video poetry will grow and develop. To give an example: holographic projections are a technology in full bloom and will be a new format and a new language for the Video Poetry and the Poetry Film that will fascinate you — in this case even without a screen.

2015 Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival open to submissions from German-speaking countries

METRO Kinokulturhaus, Vienna

METRO Kinokulturhaus, Vienna

The Vienna-based Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival has opened submissions to their 2015 competition — but only to residents of Austria, Germany and Switzerland, or filmmakers with citizenship in those countries. A more international “special prize” can’t be given this year for budgetary reasons, they say; focusing on the three German-speaking countries (rather than just Austria) for the main competition is therefore a compromise. (Or so I gather from Google’s not terribly adequate machine translation.) A grand prize winner will be awarded 400 Euros, and announcements of other prizes will be forthcoming.

The festival is also moving to a new venue this year: METRO Kinokulturhaus, “one of the most beautiful cinemas in Vienna.” An exact date has yet to be announced.

Submissions are through an online form, and the deadline is September 15.

News roundup: 6 poetry film festivals still upcoming in 2014; Poetryfilmkanal; ZEBRA’s new channels

The call for artists to participate in the International Film Poetry Festival in Athens is apparently still open. The exact date for the festival in December has not been set.

Other international poetry-film festivals coming up in November and December include:

A huge thanks to the new German-language website Poetryfilmkanal (Poetryfilmchannel) for helping me remember all these festivals. The site doesn’t officially launch until February, but it already includes some very useful features: the calendar, which I drew on for this post; a timeline of landmark films in poetry-film history, with links to YouTube; and a bibliography of selected books and journal articles. The Google translation of their About page makes the project sound very promising indeed.

And speaking of great resources, the ZEBRA folks have been going all-out this week to improve online exposure to films that have been screened at their festivals, creating a new ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival channel on Vimeo, as well as a Vimeo album and a YouTube playlist for just the films from the 2014 festival. These are as yet limited to films uploaded by the creators themselves, but in time I hope that ZEBRA will be able to upload their own copies of films they’ve screened, as well, providing not only a much more complete picture, but also a more stable, long-term archive of international poetry film.

Vienna Poetry Film Festival announces competition films

still from video by 4youreye

still from a video by 4youreye

The Vienna Poetry Film Festival (A.K.A. Art Visuals & Poetry Festival) is coming up on November 5-6, as previously noted. Now they have released a list of the films they’ll be screening on November 6 from both competitions: Poetry films about the Festival poem “Kaspar Hauser Lied” by Georg Trakl, and Textfilm made in Austria. I recognize many filmmakers’ names, especially in the former category. Congratulations to all for having been selected.

The program for November 5, moderated by Sigrun Höllrigl and Hubert Sielecki, has also been released, including some teaser videos. It too looks very interesting. Best of luck to the organizers and participants for what is sure to be a successful and stimulating event.