~ Athens International Video Poetry Festival ~

International Video Poetry Festival program set

In my recent round-up of where to watch poetry films this month, I forgot to include Athens! The International Video Poetry Festival, as it’s called these days, organized by +The Institute [for Experimental Arts], is in its 11th incarnation.



Free Self Organized Theatre Empros
Riga Palamidi 2- Psiri – Athens Greece

International Video Poetry Festival celebrates eleven years of creative collaboration with more than 2000 artists from 85 countries in general, a world of poetic visions for the benefit of humanity. Poetry, cinema, music and spoken word come together to communicate the inspiration, dreams, ideas and hopes of all of us.

We welcome you to this magical world.

Click through for the list of countries and filmmaker/poets (also on Facebook) as well as information on the workshop and lecture scheduled for Saturday the 20th. I’m so happy this festival continues to be held.

Festival circuit round-up

It’s the New Year and perhaps a good time to be thinking about film festivals and competitions. Is this the year you will enter for the first time? Or to bring an, as yet, unseen project to light? Or to think about what new films you might create in 2024 …

But first, with a quick pause for thought (or maybe to take the actions suggested) – here is a throwback to a lovely little film posted on Moving Poems way back in 2012.



And now, here are the major festivals for poetry films coming up for entry (linked to their FilmFreeway page where you will find more details). Some were first posted earlier when the calls initially went out (but a reminder that the deadline is coming up closer), and others are fresh!

Remember to check all the rules of entry carefully to make sure you comply (or it is just irritating for the organisers), and make your own judgements on whether to enter.  These are all established events, but be aware that there are some dodgy festivals out there that have little merit in getting your film exposed to an interested audience but will take hefty sums in entry fees.

No need to rush it either … festivals and deadlines are an ongoing roll, and if you miss one, there will always be another festival or another year that comes along. Often there is a long or an unlimited timeframe in which a completed film will be eligible, and no impact if you don’t get on the case immediately.

Read more about entering festivals in this past interview with Adam Stone on Moving Poems.

Wishing everyone good luck in 2024!

10th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece: Programme published

10th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece, 2022

The 10th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens takes place from 28th September to 1st October.

The event details and full programme are now online on their website and also available to view or download as a pdf document.

Within poetry film, the curated programmes include HUMAN LIFE TODAY, FEMINIST STRUGGLES, INVISIBLE LIFE, HUMAN ECOLOGY & PLANET EARTH, LGBTQI STRUGGLES, POLITICAL & SOCIAL AWARENESS. And the festival includes a range of other films, live performances and talks.

Festivals, Competitions, Journals: Open for Submissions

Source: Thomas William, Unsplash
Source: Thomas William, Unsplash


Festival Fotogenia, Mexico
Entry fee: US$25
Submissions close: 20 September 2020

Versi di Luce, Italy
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 30 September 2020

Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize, USA
(from Slippery Elm Literary Journal, University of Findlay, Ohio)
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 30 September 2020

Queensland Poetry Festival: Film & Poetry Challenge, Australia
(for Australian artists)
Entry fee: AUD$15
Submissions close: 10 October 2020

Mayflower 400 Poetry Film Competition, UK
Entry fee: free
Submissions close: 19 October 2020

Helios Sun Poetry Film Festival, Mexico
Entry fee: US$15
Submissions close: 31 October 2020

Athens International Poetry Film Festival, Greece
Entry fee US$6
Submissions close: 27 November 2020

REELPoetry Festival, USA
Entry fee: US$15
Submissions close: 15 December 2020

International Migration & Environmental Film Festival, Portugal
Entry fee: US$20.50
Submissions close: 31 January 2021

Caafa International Film Festival, Nigeria
(for African and African-descended artists)
Entry fee: US$10
Submissions close: 18 June 2021

Call for work: 9th International Video Poetry Festival in Athens

photo: The Reorientalist, 2013 by Juan Ford

The International Video Poetry Festival in Athens attempts to create an open public space for the creative expression of all tendencies and streams of contemporary visual poetry. The IVPF has been around since 2012. It is one of the largest international platforms for video poetry. Every year, it offers poets, film and festival makers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange, brainstorming and meeting with a broad audience. With poetry readings, live performances, concerts, retrospectives, exhibitions, performances, workshops and lectures present in various sections the diversity of the genre of video poetry and spoken word music.

The International Video Poetry Festival happens in two different zones. The first day is the Show Room Video Poetry, a unique zone that will include video poems, visual poems, short film poems and cinematic poetry and performances by artists from all over the world (America, Asia, Europe, Africa). The second day is the Live Improvisation Zone with multimedia poetry readings, concerts with experimental music, workshops and live spoken word performances.

Poets, filmmakers, video and digital artists, media and performance artists are called to submit creative works to the 9th Annual International Video Poetry Festival in Athens, Greece. The festival celebrates and will screen a large scope of video projects developed through the medium of poetry. The International Video Poetry Festival will also host a series of panels, guest speakers, workshops, and public dialogues regarding film and video poetry. In addition to the screenings, programmers also curate a video art exhibition.

There are no restrictions regarding when the film was produced or if the film has premiered regionally or internationally. There are no restrictions on subject matter, theme, topic, or the language of origin. The International Video Poetry Festival will accept submissions of poetry films, filmpoems, digital-poetry, poetry video, Cin(E)-Poetry, spoken word films, videopoema, visual poetry, choreopoems, poetrinca, media poetry, and all films and videos that are driven visually by text or voice.

Live performances, video mapping, installation proposals, and grand-scale video art presentations that contain strong aspects of poetry are encouraged. The IVPF also calls for experimental film and video work that explores poetry or literature whether it be oral, written, visual, or symbolic. This includes non-narrative work and the avant-garde. The International Video Poetry also invites you to film video poems based on Allen Ginsberg’s and Gregory Corso’s poetry.

The IVPF strongly considers artwork that examines and challenges traditional visual communication methods while continuing to function as a tool for exploring poetry.The International Video Poetry Festival will consider documentaries that focus on poets, poems, poetry, poetic technique, literary movements, and historical events within these realms. The documentaries must have English or Greek subtitles.

The IVPF also calls for video work that explores poetry and literature whether it be oral, written, visual, or symbolic. This includes the film essay or cinematic essay, non-narrative work, and the avant-guard. We will also strongly consider work that challenges traditional and current visual communication methods while continuing to function as a mode for exploring narrative and personal expression.

Organizer and promoter of the International Video Poetry Festival are the Institute for Experimental Arts in co-operation with Void Network.

Every year the committee of the Institute for Experimental Arts the 10 most outstanding video poems of the annual festival. Τhe committee is composed of the official member of the nonprofit cultural society Institute for Experimental Arts.

Deadline: All submissions must be submitted, emailed, or postmarked no later than November 27, 2020.

One to two project titles per submission form is allowed. All languages are allowed (including English or Greek subtitles).

Rules & Terms

Please visit our website for the rules and details on how to submit. IVPF can also receive your submission through FilmFreeway.

Haiku Time by Lisi Prada

Haiku Time screened at the Athens International Video Poetry Festival in December, along with two other videos written and directed by Madrid artist Lisi Prada. For me, Prada’s videos were the best discovery of the festival’s screening night, which went from 6:00 pm until about 1:00 am in a continuous stream.

The film-maker is boldly experimental in her approach. Her videos screened in Athens were all multilingual. She also wrote the text for Haiku Time, and has this to say on her website:

“Presented as a video-haiga, the images accompany … poetic text that is recited simultaneously in English and German. Some verses are heard as a chorus also in Japanese, Norwegian, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish, emphasizing that what is said happens to anyone, anywhere.”

The translations were gathered via the internet from different parts of the world. Of the two main voices, the German is translated and spoken by Thomas Topp, and the English by Susan Nash. Nash performs in a style that sounds like the automated voices heard on train platforms or when waiting in phone queues. This is in accord with Prada’s statement about the content of the text and images:

“(the video)… proposes to abolish the borders of what separates us from the other… and questions the alienation of current life in the cities, where we get lost… a world in which speed, pollution, stress… make us move like pawns on chess boards, forgetting what really matters, what makes sense.”

The soundtrack is made up mostly of the different voices in different languages, that are layered in their timing and accompanied by subtitles. This on-screen text is well-placed, forming part of the overall structure and framing of the images. The music, heard only a few times for the film’s duration, is dramatic and highly effective, echoing the edgy quality of the editing.

The film goes for 5 minutes, 7 seconds, 5 milliseconds – mirroring the 5-7-5 syllables of the popular version of the haiku form in writing. This is explained on Prada’s web page for the film, where she describes the images as being…

“…based on simple and deep observations of everyday life, and poetic images among which the moon frequently appears…”

Prada blurs the boundaries between video and poetic text, uniting them into one form, in which the text feels incomplete without the images, the images without the words.

* Quotations from the artist are translated from Spanish to English with the assistance of Google Translate.

Blood Constellations by Malika Ndlovu

Blood Constellations is a beautifully made example of a poetry dance film, a genre showcased many times over the years at Moving Poems.

Boldly directed by Jim Demuth, based in London and China, the film is part of a broader, multi-disciplinary arts collaboration called Singing My Mother’s Song, which explores family and lineage. The overall director of the project is Bristol-based Rebecca Tantony.

The poet is Durban-born Malika Ndlovu, whose rich and passionate voice rings out in word and song on the soundtrack. It is compellingly danced by Nyaniso Dzedze, also in South Africa.

I was lucky enough to see the film in Athens earlier in December, where it screened at the International Video Poetry Festival.

Poetry film festival news round-up

Poetry film festival season is now in full swing. Major festivals are just ’round the corner in Vienna, Berlin, Mexico City, and Athens.

poster featuring Motionpoems

First up is the biannual Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival scheduled for 29 November to 1 December in Vienna. Though mainly a German-language event, this year it includes a special focus on the US-based production company Motionpoems.

Then it’s time for the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, whose full programme is now online. They sent along a press release, worth reproducing nearly in full due the central importance of this festival to the poetry film genre.

Once again, Berlin becomes the centre for the poetry film. From 5 to 8 December, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will for the 10th time be presenting the poetry film in all its facets in the Kino in der KulturBrauerei cinema. For the first time the current poetry film from Germany is the centre piece of the festival. Poetry film creation in the United Kingdom will be given a special spot in the limelight. The programme is now online. And Tickets go on advance sale in mid-November.

THU 5 Dec | 20.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei

Guest of honour will be Jochen Kuhn, artist and film maker. A voice of contemporary German poetry, Özlem Özgül Dündar, is reading her latest poems. The music of the British and Berlin based multi-instrumentalist Rowan Coupland is often referring to poetry.

Part 1: Yearned-For Places FRI 6 Dec | 19.30 (Repetition SAT 7 Dec | 14.30)
Part 2: Common Values SAT 7 Dec | 19.30. (Repetition SUN 8 Dec | 14.30)
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei

From more than 500 submissions from all over Germany the Programme Commission has chosen the best poetry films for the Competition. The international Jury of three will be awarding the prizes to the winning films at the awards ceremony on 8 December.

SUN 8 Dec | 20.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei

The international Jury, comprising Jana Cernik (AG Kurzfilm), Charlotte Warsen (poet) and Tim Webb (filmmaker), will be awarding four prizes: the ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie, the Goethe Film Prize, donated by the Goethe Institute, the Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance, donated by the German Foreign Ministry and the Ritter Sport Film Prize, donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. Musical accompaniment for the evening will be provided by F.S. Blumm.

We Are Poets FRI. 6.12. | 5 pm
Very British FRI. 6.12. | 10 pm
State of the Art SAT. 7.12. | 5 pm
Stiff Upper Verse SAT. 7.12. | 10 pm
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei

The country focus this year is on the United Kingdom. The programme ‘State of the Art’ shows the latest British productions, curated by the poets and film makers Chaucer Cameron, Helen Dewbery, Lucy English and Sarah Tremlett. The ‘Very British’ programme is a Best Of from the past few decades of the British poetry film. The documentary ‘We Are Poets’ by Daniel Lucchesi and Alex Ramseyer-Bache celebrates its German première at the festival. In ‘Stiff Upper Verse’ the British poets Simon Barraclough, Lucy English and Roseanne Watt will be reading in English, Welsh and the dialect of the Shetland Isles.

Journey in the Mind FRI 6 Dec | 19.30
Transit SAT 7 Dec | 17.00
Parlour Games SAT 7 Dec | 19.30
Interrelations SAT 7 Dec | 22.00 | all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei

The Programme Commission has selected 35 films for Prism; three programmes present the broad spectrum of the German poetry film including animations, experimental films and features. The programme ‘Transit’ shows documentary portraits of poets.

design akademie berlin & Hochschule Anhalt, Dessau FRI 6 Dec | 17.00
UdK Berlin & KHM Köln FRI 6 Dec | 22.00
HFBK Hamburg & Hochschule Düsseldorf SAT 7 Dec | 14.30
HFK Bremen & Hochschule Mainz SAT 7 Dec | 22.00
Bauhaus-Uni Weimar & HBK Braunschweig SUN 8 Dec | 16.00
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei

Colloquium: The Eye of the Poem SUN 8 Dec | 11.00 | Haus für Poesie
Master Class: Between Film and Poetry FRI 6 Dec | 14.00 | Haus für Poesie

The poetry film is a popular genre at universities and film academies. Students at ten German higher education institutions will be showing poetry films made in the course of a collaboration over a year. In the Colloquium Anna Anders (UdK Berlin), Sophie Maintigneux (KHM Cologne), Ulrike Almut Sandig (poet), Tim Webb (Royal College of Art) and Sarah Tremlett (Liberated Words CIC) will be discussing the position of the poetry film in German and British higher education institutions. And the director Jochen Kuhn will be giving a poetry film master class.

FESTIVAL POEM: [native vegetation a natural resource]
SUN 8 Dec | 17.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei

In response to ZEBRA’s call for entries, film makers have submitted their film versions of this year’s festival poem, [dieses regionale getreide] ([native vegetation a natural resource]) by Daniel Falb. Film makers Zihrong Lu, Gruppe Leuchtstoff, Holger Mohaupt and Gabriele Nugara will present their film versions and be talking to the poet about poetry and film. You can read the poem on lyrikline.org.

FRI 6 Dec | 22.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei

Poems by Özlem Özgül Dündar, Adrian Kasnitz, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Kathrin Schmidt and Raed Wahesh are the basis of this year’s films in the Competition and Prism. In the ZEBRA Night of Readings the poets will be reading their texts and talking to Alexander Gumz about making films based on poems.

Media Workshop: The Spirits We Conjured up
WED 4 Dec | 9.00 | Haus für Poesie
Sorcerer’s Apprentices in the Moor of Horror: Programme of Ballads
THU 5 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Holes in the Head: Programme in Focus Language English
THU 5 Dec | 9.30 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
I Made It Myself: Films by Children for Children
FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
ZEBRINO Competition FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Poetry Workshop Writing Netflix! FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Haus für Poesie
Workshop Slam: Rucksack and a Journey FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Herder-Gymnasium

The Best Poetry Film for Children and Young People will be chosen by the young audience themselves in the ZEBRINO Competition. There will also be a colourful programme of workshops and films for Berlin schoolchildren with, among others, the Spoken Word artists Bas Böttcher and Nicole May.

Festival Fotogenia poster

As great as it is to see ZEBRA continuing to flourish, now to the point of becoming an annual festival, I’m equally excited to see a new poetry film festival springing up — in Mexico City. Check out FESTIVAL FOTOGENIA, I missed the call-out (sorry) but thanks to social media posts by filmmaker Helmie Stil, this didn’t escape my radar altogether. The description on their website suggests an avant-garde perspective on the genre:

FOTOGENIA, FIRST INTERNATIONAL FILM POETRY & DIVERGENT NARRATIVES FESTIVAL promotes a space with alternative conception of films, a celebration of experimentation and avant-garde framework, the love of curiosity and research of the seventh Art. Everyone is invited, taking into consideration the disruptive nature of the selected works.

We welcome you to watch films in another way!

If you are an audiovisual maker interested in provoking the cinematographic image through the exploration of the frontiers and limits of film narrative, genre, format and the nature of film itself, in order to converse with the viewers in innovative and critical ways to ignite a confrontation between reality and cinematic phenomenon, this is your place to exhibit your passion.

The +Institute [for Experimental Arts] and Void Network present the 8th International Video Poetry Festival 2019

Meanwhile in Athens, the International Video Poetry Festival will be held on the weekend of the 14th and 15th. (But submissions remain open until November 20!) Special events this year will include a screening of videopoems by my co-editor Marie Cravens as well as the touring program of videopoems from around the world that she’s pulled together, Poetry + Video, plus the Margaret Tait 100 program celebrating the first Scottish woman to make feature films, who was also a pioneer of poetry in film. And there will be a videopoetry seminar panel including film-makers, writers, performers, and musicians.

Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a reminder that submissions are still open for REELpoetry/Houston TX 2020 (Deadline: December 9) and the 2020 Newlyn PZ International Film Festival (Deadline: February 24) .
Newlyn PZ International Film Festival poster

August 2019 Update on Videopoetry/Poetry Film Events

world map

Credit: Daniel R. Strebe, 15 August 2011, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Wild Whispers project at La Rue et Toi Festival Artistes

Belgium, 10 August 2019
See wildwhispers.blog.

Women of West Wales Unearthed: Poetry, Prose and Film

UK, 10 August 2019
See llangwmlitfest.eventcube.io/events/18635/women-of-west-wales-unearthed-poetry-prose-and-film.

Call for entries, Carmarthen Bay Film Festival, Poetic Cinema section

Wales, UK
Early bird deadline: 31 August 2019
Fee US $35 standard / US $20 student
Awards given but not specified on web page for this BAFTA Cymru/Wales qualifying festival.
See filmfreeway.com/CarmarthenBayFilmFestival.

Call for entries, Maldito Festival de Videopoesía 2019

Albacete, Spain
Deadline 8 September 2019
No fee specified on the website. Prize money is awarded. Films need to have Spanish subtitles.
See malditofestival.com/plazo-de-inscripcion-iii-edicion19.

Call for entries, 8th International Video Poetry Festival

Athens, Greece
Deadline: 20 November 2019
The festival suggests a voluntary fee of 5 euros by bank deposit.
See movingpoems.com/2019/08/call-for-work-8th-international-video-poetry-festival-athens-2019.