~ International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia ~

“A Poetic Encounter”: poetry films from Belgium and Germany in Brussels

A film evening ‘A Poetic Encounter’ – organised by the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia, will present films from Belgium and Germany, in Brussels, on Wednesday 12th October.

The filmmakers Ana María Vallejo, Catalina Giraldo, Rika Tarigan, Marc Neys, Jan Peeters, Paul Bogaert will talk about and show their films and will be in conversation with host Michaël Vandebril.

If you wish to attend: Prior registration is required. Click here to register

New Covid restrictions force ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival online

The world’s most prestigious poetry film festival has been forced to scrap plans for a live festival. The Berlin-based ZEBRA festival had persisted in planning a full live programme for November 19-22, assuming no doubt that Germany’s robust pandemic response would continue to permit such a gathering. But alas, German cinemas have been ordered to shut down starting today. So four days ago, the ZEBRA twitter account announced that they were going online, and promised more information soon. At the time of posting, no further information has been forthcoming.
Tweet reading "The cinemas in Germany will be closed for the time being from Monday. ZEBRA is going online.  Zebra  More information will follow soon!"

Moving a large, complex festival to the web is of course not a trivial undertaking. I must say, I’ve been enormously impressed with how the folks at Weimar have handled it, after having to abandon plans for a live festival on their very first year. The online Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia has an outstanding user interface with great visual design elements, and from a technical standpoint they’re using tools available to anyone with even a fairly minimal budget. The screenings use password-protected, embedded Vimeo showcases, and the live talks and discussions are handled with Zoom + YouTube Live. Payment is collected through Eventbrite. It’s all run through a basic, self-hosted WordPress installation using the free Underscores theme generator.

I’m sure ZEBRA has an outstanding technical and design team and doesn’t need any advice, but I think Thuringia is a model for festivals planning anything before at least the middle of next summer. And I’m rather hoping that even after the pandemic is over, traditional, meat-space festivals will continue to have an equally strong cyberspace component. It’s a bit of extra hassle, sure, but it does render any festival truly international, allowing many more people to attend (and more tickets to be sold). And with climate change destroying the planet, we all need to stop jetting around the world unless we absolutely have to.

Upcoming poetry film and videopoetry festivals

For festivals, this is a best-of-times, worst-of-times situation. Pandemic restrictions mean fewer options for live events, but going online has the potential to build big new audiences from around the world. Here are some press releases that have recently come our way from the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia, the Midwest Video Poetry Festival, and ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. I’ll also paste in some info about the Winter Warmer online festival from Cork.

International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia starts ticket sales

Three weeks of watching about 150 poetry films, plus workshops, lectures, interviews, live streams, and an international award ceremony—all this awaits poetry film fans and online visitors of the new festival

banner for Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia

This year, the Weimar Poetry Film Prize, which has been awarded since 2016, will be presented for the first time as part of its own festival. Initially meant to take place in May/June, the International Poetry Film Festival of Thuringia will begin online from October 22-25, due to a pandemic. While this may be a pity for die-hard festival-goers, it offers the new festival the opportunity to present itself to a worldwide short film scene at its premiere.

The festival begins on October 22 with a special focus on Africa, which can be watched via live stream. This emphasis is intended to contribute to improving the visibility and perception of African poetry film. The countries Mozambique and South Africa will be featured especially.

There are also exciting special programs to watch: The “Women in Resistance” program illustrates how much video poetry is part of global poetic activism. A retrospective is dedicated to the Canadian video pioneer Tom Konyves and his films. Furthermore, international and German-language short films and the Weimar Winners of the years 2016-2019 will be screened. Under the title “The Art of Videohaiku”, the festival invites participants to create poetry films in small format themselves and to interpret the haiku audiovisually. The Dutch filmmaker Helmie Stil introduces her video poetry in a lecture she gave at the Bauhaus University during the summer semester. The latest Thuringian poetry film productions will also be shown.

On Saturday, October 24, the 5th Weimar Poetry Film Prize will be awarded at the Lichthaus cinema. The international jury consists of photographer and lecturer Kathrin Tillmanns, literary scholar and author Jan-Volker Röhnert and filmmaker Helmie Stil. The award ceremony will be broadcast from 6-9 pm (CET). This year the audience can vote for their favorite online. The Official Selection will be published on October 1st.

The four main festival days will end on Sunday, October 25, with a matinee at the MonAmi cinema. The film KENT OZANI, which accompanies the poet José A. Oliver during his stay in Istanbul, will be screened. José A. Oliver will be in attendance and take part in a discussion.

The festival website www.poetryfilmtage.de is now online! Ticket sales have started! Get your ticket here.

The code to the protected festival area on the website costs 10 Euros and is valid for three weeks from October 22nd until November 12th. The live streams can be found on the festival website and will stay accessible afterward.

ONLINE: Midwest Video Poetry Festival

via Isthmus

The first ever Midwest Video Poetry Festival (MVPF) will take place in Madison, Wisconsin on November 19 & 20.

Midwest Video Poetry Festival banner

Celebrating the amazing breadth of expression when one of humanity’s oldest art forms is interpreted through the lens of one of its newest, the MVPF features the best of this cutting-edge art form from around the Midwest and around the world. Presented by Madison’s Arts + Literature Laboratory, screenings will take place from 7-8:30pm each day via live-stream at https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtLitLab/videos

The submissions range from 30 seconds to under 10 minutes long. They have all been created within the last three years, many of them within the last few months, promising a fresh, contemporary point of view. “Poetry is not dead,” says Festival founder and executive director Rita Mae Reese. “It is one of the most enduring forms of expression, doing now what it always has, making meaning of the events and circumstances of our lives, accompanying us through turmoil, expressing our joy and holding our grief. It is now, especially, during times of upheaval and strife, that poets’ voices are most needed; these are the voices that will carry us through.”

“It feels so important to do this now,” agrees Genia Daniels, who has been overseeing the curation team and selection process. “Fielding over 1,600 submissions from artists, poets, and filmmakers in 91 countries around the world has given us an amazing field to work with. It’s a phenomenal array of voices, genres, styles and expressions. We are so excited to share this with people in Madison and beyond.”

The MVPF is a production of the Madison Arts and Literature Laboratory, a community-driven contemporary non-profit arts organization that supports the visual, literary, musical and performing arts, presents over 200 free or low-cost events per year, and offers year-round arts education for all ages. ALL nurtures innovation and the artistic growth of contemporary visual, literary, and performing artists; connects artists, resources and community; and fuels a passion for arts and literature.

The Midwest Video Poetry Fest is made possible in part by a grant from Dane Arts with additional funds from the Endres Mfg. Company Foundation, The Evjue Foundations Inc., charitable arm of The Capital Times, the W. Jerome Frautschi Foundation, and the Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation.

Off On Poetic Ramblings – ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival with the country focus on Canada and Québec

From 19 to 22 November the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is presenting in the Kino in der KulturBrauerei and the Haus für Poesie the international competition for the Best Poetry Film as well as a programme of films and poetry with the country focus on Canada and Québec.

banner for ZEBRA Poetry film Festival 2020

Around 2,000 films have been submitted this year from more than 100 countries. From these, the Programme Committee, whose members are Heinz Hermanns (interfilm Berlin), Cia Rinne (poet), Heiko Strunk (lyrikline.org), Eloisa Suárez (Goethe-Institut) and Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel (ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival), has nominated 34 films for the Competition. A jury of experts in the fields of film, poetry and media will then announce the winning films at an awards ceremony on 22 November. The Best Poetry Film for Children will be awarded the ZEBRINO Audience Prize.

As well as the Competition, there will be 20 accompanying programmes of films featuring 250 animations, feature films, experimental films and documentaries providing an insight into the diversity of the poetry film scene. Besides Canada and Québec, thematic focus areas include Human Rights and Eco Poetry. What is more, ZEBRA will show the best film versions of this year’s festival poem, “LETHE”, by Botswanan Spoken Word artist TJ Dema. To round off the programme, there will be readings by poets from Germany, Canada and Québec as well as a programme of workshops and films for children and young people.

Programme and advance ticket sales online from mid-October at haus-fuer-poesie.org

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has been running since 2002. At the time it was the first international platform for short films based on poems – poetry films – and is still the biggest of its kind. It offers poets, film makers and festival organisers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange, getting ideas and meeting a wide audience. Featuring a Competition, programmes of films, readings by poets, retrospectives, workshops, colloquia and programme for children, it presents in various different sections the diverse genre of the poetry film.

THU 19 Nov – SUN 22 Nov 2020
ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival
Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Schönhauser Allee 36, 10435 Berlin
Haus für Poesie Knaackstraße 97, 10435 Berlin

Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film competition winners at Winter Warmer festival

via the Ó Bhéal blog

A multilingual poetry festival held in Cork City each November since 2013, Ó Bhéal is proud to present its annual Winter Warmer weekend.

Winter Warmer festival graphic

One of the highlights of Cork’s literary calendar, this unique event hosts 23+ renowned poets and performers from Ireland and 7-8 other countries.

The event also features films from the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film competition along with poetry collaborations with dance, theatre or other art forms, poetry accompanied by music and a closed-mic set for local poets.

In 2018 the festival expanded to four days thanks to our ECIC (European Community of Inclusive Cultures) partnership with festivals from four European countries: Festival dos Eidos (Galicia, Spain), Festival Literário da Madeira (Portugal), Salerno Letteratura Festival (Italy) and LitFest.eu Festival de Voulmentin (France). The 2019 festival took place over three days.

Ó Bhéal’s 8th Winter Warmer (and 1st online) festival presents 36 poets live from fifteen countries, from Thurs 26th – Sun 29th November. The festival will feature poetry workshops, music from Tionscadal na nAmhrán Ealaíne Gaeilge (the Irish Language Art Song Project) devised by Dáirine Ní Mheadhra and John Hess, the shortlist screening and prize-giving for Ó Bhéal’s International Poetry-Film Competition, a Many Tongues of Cork session and a closed-mic set for new voices – poets who have featured regularly in Ó Bhéal’s online open-mic sessions during 2020.

We are thrilled to announce that this year’s stellar line-up includes Imtiaz Dharker, Jacob Polley, Sinéad Morrissey, Tongo Eisen-Martin, Nuar Alsadir, Robert Sullivan, Dunya Mikhail, David Wheatley, Mary Jean Chan, Ranjit Hoskote, Julie Morrissy, Musawenkosi Khanyile, Natalya O’Flaherty, Susan Musgrave and William Wall.