~ Midwest Video Poetry Fest ~

Calls for work: latest round-up

I’ll illustrate this round-up with a trailer excerpt from a personal favourite that I saw this week from the online Juried Selections at REELPoetry Festival in Houston. I Dream my Dream by Monique van Kerkhof and Bo Oudendijk.

Dreaming about showing your work? From Australia to Mexico and other points in between, there are film festivals that are awaiting poetry films. Recent posts here on Moving Poems have included Drumshanbo, Resonans, and Maldito, and these are still open, as well as Midwest which was listed back in January.

In Australia there is a new poetry film festival to be held in conjunction with the Poets on the Mountain Festival and they are looking for Australian poetry films and Australian Bush Poetry films. Deadline 30 June.

La Poesia Che Si Vede is an international competition for poetry films based in Ancona, Italy. The organisers say that “poetry film for La Poesia che si vede is total poetry, without discrimination of genre or format”. Deadline 27 May.

Fotogenia in Mexico City has been running for 6 years. It has a varied programme that includes categories such as avant-garde feature films and video art, with a specific film poetry category. They do have a number of specific rules though – do check carefully. These include mandatory Spanish subtitles if your film is to be shown in the in-person screening, and that films cannot be shown online at any other public website. Deadline 31 July.

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!

Upcoming poetry film festival programs now online: Vienna, Midwest, Zebra

banner for Vienna Poetry Film Festival

Autumn is a busy time in the poetry film world, especially when the biannual Vienna Poetry Film Festival, AKA Art Visuals & Poetry Filmfestival, is happening. It’ll be held on November 14-17 this year. Here’s the full program.

Highlights of this 10th anniversary edition of the festival include a poetry film competition based on the festival poem “la luna” by Viennese poet Manfred Chobot, with seven selections from around the world, and of course the main competition program, which is split into two sessions: one for Austrian films, and the other for German-language films from Germany and Switzerland.

banner for Midwest Video Poetry Fest

A few days after that program appeared online, the Midwest Poetry Video Fest organizers uploaded detailed programs for their two-day event in Wisconsin, USA:

There will be two evenings of live Poet + Filmmaker performance followed by film screenings on October 14th and October 15th at ALL in Madison, WI and at Woodland Pattern in Milwaukee, WI. Each evening’s screening will be unique and will include a selection of works from the open call alongside works by artists especially invited by the Curatorial Team.

Each date links to a program, including thumbnails and a description of each of the 29 videopoems.

And then today the big dog, Berlin’s ZEBRA festival, announced its program. The English-language version is here, using what looks to be a repurposed URL from 2022. Each time it has a different national focus, and in 2023 that’s going to be Italy:

With selected poetry films from this year’s submissions, as well as the best Italian films of the past years, ZEBRA will present various facets of Italy film and poetry scene. Landscape, love, culture, tradition, and conflict are just a few of the themes. Films in this program are based on poems by Dante Alighieri, Gioacchino Belli, Elena Chiesa, John Giorno, Giacomo Leopardi, Milena Tipaldo oder Lello Voce.

For the international competition, they note that

About 1,200 entries from over 90 countries were submitted to 2023’s ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival. A program committee nominated 25 of them for the international competition.

The three-member international jury will award the following prizes this year: the “ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film,” donated by the House of Poetry, the “Goethe Film Prize – Borders,” donated by the Goethe-Institut, and the “Ritter Sport Film Prize,” donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co KG.

There are also four thematically grouped programs, or prisms as they call them: The Worlds inside your mind – MEMORIES & DREAMS; All the What-Ifs – ECO POETRY & DYSTOPIA; Urbanities – CITY & SOCIETY; and How to connect – LOVE & BODIES. A couple of readings, a masterclass on animation, and the awards ceremony round out what looks like a very full and exciting program.

If any Moving Poems readers are planning to attend these events, we’d love to hear they went. Feel free to send in any reports or observations you may have.

Calls for work: four possibilities for poetry film-makers

Four possibilities for entry … two dedicated festivals, a festival that includes poetry film within a category, and something that doesn’t mention poetry film at all (but could have potential).

In Ireland there is the Ó Bhéal 10th Winter Warmer poetry festival. The festival will happen 25th-27th November 2022 in Cork and will include the 2022 Poetry Film Competition.

Submissions are open from now until 31st August and are free, and open to all for films of up to 10 minutes. Full guidelines on entry are available on their website: https://www.obheal.ie/blog/competition-poetry-film/

Meanwhile Arts + Literature Laboratory are running their third Midwest Video Poetry Fest on 7-8th October 2022 in Wisconsin, USA, and submissions to this event are open until 1st July for films of up to 7 minutes. More about the event and previous festivals are on their website: https://artlitlab.org/programs/literary-arts/midwest-video-poetry-fest
Full details and entry are on FilmFreeway.

MicroMania FilmFest exists for films of up to 5 minutes. This festival is not specifically aimed at poetry film but the freestyle category description includes poetry film as one of the areas of interest and has options for films under 2 minutes and 2-5 minutes. I could also imagine some films from our genre fitting into the experimental category too. The event will be in person and online from 3–24 September 2022. See FilmFreeway for more details and entry

And finally a more left-field possibility: Sensoria 2022. This is a festival of film, music and digital happening in Sheffield, UK from 30 September to 8th October 2022. The organisers say:

“The festival team are on the hunt for exciting new work in the realms of music, film and digital.
We’d also love to hear from potential partners, co-promoters or anyone who wants to make a suggestion – do get in touch.”

If you explore the Sensoria website you will glean that the festival is heavily aimed towards music. But if your poetry film includes music in an exciting way, particularly if it has original music – then I think you may have what the organisers are looking for: “short films with innovative soundtracks or scores”. Read more about the event on their website: https://www.sensoria.org.uk/news/sensoria-2022-call-for-submissions/

I love to see poetry film crossing over into other worlds and while some opportunities may be long shots, the more that poetry filmmakers enter into wide-ranging events, the more we can hope to bring what we do to wider audiences. Selection for events can be less about the definition of a genre and more about the little thing that captures the imagination and excitement of the selector – and who knows which film might just do that …

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.

Call for Entries: Midwest Video Poetry Fest

A new videopoetry festival has emerged in Madison, Wisconsin: Midwest Video Poetry Fest.

Arts + Literature Laboratory has brought creativity and community into the lives of thousands of people during our first four years in Madison through exhibitions, concerts, readings, and education programming for all ages. We bring together world-class artists, emerging and local artists, writers, musicians, and audiences for approximately two hundred events each year. In 2020, our programming and audiences will expand as we move into a new, more accessible, and larger location in the heart of Madison’s Capitol East District. At this new location, we will be hosting the first Midwest Video Poetry Fest (MVPF).

Video poetry gives creators an opportunity to use one of our newest art forms–film–to transform one of our oldest art forms—poetry. This emerging and exciting format is adding to the rapidly growing audience for poetry in America. Leading up to the screenings, which will be part of the Wisconsin Book Festival in October of this year, Arts + Literature Laboratory (ALL) will be hosting free poetry video making workshops, featuring video poetry on our ALL Review, and hosting discussions on the genre of video poetry.

MVPF will be the first of its kind in Wisconsin and will present the work of local, national, and international poets and filmmakers. All events will be free and open to the public.

Midwest Video Poetry Fest is made possible in part by a grant from Dane Arts. For sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, please genia@artlitlab.org.

Read the full Rules and Regulations here.

DEADLINE: August 1, 2020

Midwest Video Poetry Fest proudly accepts entries on FilmFreeway, the world’s #1 way to enter film festivals and creative contests.