~ Ó Bhéal ~

Call for films: Italy and Ireland

Some fresh calls for films this week … first up La Poesie che si vede, an international competition for poetry films based in Ancona, Italy, with the winner awarded €500.

The organisers say:

It is the product of the collaboration between two important festivals: La Punta della Lingua International Poetry Festival and Corto Dorico Film Festival. The first edition of La Poesia che si vede was held in July 2021. Its third edition will take place in June 2023.

The International Competition for Poetry Films is dedicated to poetry short films produced from all over the world. From kinetic text to sound text, from visual text to cine-poetry, up to the filmed performance, poetry film for La Poesia che si vede is total poetry, without discrimination of genre or format.

Submissions on FilmFreeway by 22 May 2023: https://filmfreeway.com/LaPoesiaCheSiVede

Next is the 11 Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition, an international competition based in Cork, Ireland.

Up to 30 shortlisted films will be announced during October 2023 and screened at the 11th Winter Warmer poetry festival (26th-28th Nov 2023) at Nano Nagle Place in Cork city, as well as online.

Submissions on FilmFreeway by 31st August, or direct via the instructions on their website https://www.obheal.ie/blog/competition-poetry-film/

Top Ten: Classic Poems

Paul Casey and Colm Scully, organisers and judges of the Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer poetry festival and poetry film competition in Cork (Ireland), have collaborated on their top ten films that feature classic poems from a wide range of writers. Their range of selections begin with Lewis Carroll with Jabberwocky written in 1871 in England, and conclude with Pablo Neruda, in 20th century Chile, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature 100 years later in 1971.

Lewis Carroll
Filmmaker: Sjaak Rood

When it comes to marching
Bertholt Brecht
Filmmaker: Andrea Malpede

The Peace of Wild Things
Wendell Berry
Filmmakers: Charlotte Ager & Katy Wang

Hope is the thing with feathers
Emily Dickinson
Filmmaker: Dave Bonta

Percy Bysshe-Shelley
Filmmaker: Alvaro Lamarche Toloza

Let This Darkness Be a Bell Tower
Rainer Maria Rilke
Filmmaker: Matt Huynh & Mila Nery

Lightenings viii
Seamus Heaney
Filmmaker: Eoghan Kidney

W B Yeats
Filmmaker: Don Carey

Toads Revisited
Philip Larkin
An excerpt from a BBC programme (Monitor, 1964, UK) with John Betjeman interviewing Philip Larkin.

Tonight I can Write
Pablo Neruda
Filmmaker: Lorena Col

La luna asoma (The moon appears) by Federico García Lorca

The winner of the 10th Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition in Ireland is La luna asoma (The moon appears). The piece is by Belgian film-maker, artist and animator Jelle Meys, from the poem by the great Spanish writer Federico García Lorca (1898-1936).

The pace of the film is slow and graceful and the animation simple and fluid, meeting well with the brevity and mystery of the poem. The film-maker talks more about his process in a brief interview with Jane Glennie as part of her overall review of the Ó Bhéal event.

Full credits:
Director and animator: Jelle Meys
Poem: Federico García Lorca
Voice: Joaquin Muñoz Benitez
Soundtrack: Nathan Alpaerts (guitar) feat. Maf! and G.L.A.S.B.A.K.
English translation editor: Christopher Maurer

Winning films from all 10 years of the Ó Bhéal competition can be seen in another post by Jane Glennie.

Review: 10th Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition & Winner

Still image: James E Kenward – Borne

Lockdown and pandemic experiences have thoroughly honed and expanded Ó Bhéal’s experience of presenting events online (helped by their growing collection of technical kit that they have been fortunate to acquire over the last few years). The 10th International Poetry-Film Competition, and the wider Winter Warmer Festival it is now part of, was fully hybrid with all events running in-person at the beautiful Nano Nagle Place in Cork (Ireland), and simultaneously live-streamed. All events are available to watch indefinitely online.

The competition selected 30 films shown in two screenings. I left each screening with excitement, and a variety of films and filmmakers that I wanted to watch again or know more about. These are some of my personal highlights:

Selkie (Director Marry Waterson) had an unusual approach to image repetition. Rockin’ Bus Driver (Directors Mary Tighe and Cormac Culkeen) had a very satisfying, meaty voice in the soundtrack and a simple but effective graphic treatment of the visual material, while Borne by James E. Kenward had an incredible delivery of the voice – the pace and the pairing with the music were brilliant. The success of this partnership is perhaps explained by a YouTube of the recording session where you can watch James performing the text alongside the pianist. A brilliant way to create the soundtrack if feasible for a project. I particularly liked the lettering in There’s a Certain Slant of light (Director Susan McCann) – text cut from leaves and cast by shadows, and the words accompanied by just music. And as a final contrast to the varied treatments of sound in the selected films, there was Janet Lees’ powerful but silent film Descent.

Still image: Susan McCann – There’s a Certain Slant of light )

The effort involved in putting together a festival can never be underestimated, and Paul Casey and Colm Scully have done a brilliant job of making the selections as well as organising the event and keeping everything running smoothly and technically well throughout the day. My only desire as an in-person attendee is to be able to have more awareness of who in the room were filmmakers (name badges, stickers, or something more imaginative perhaps?) and little bit more time specifically programmed in to be able to meet and chat to them. Filmmakers were introduced and invited to stand at the end of the screening, but it is difficult to register everyone’s face (especially in a semi-dark room) and I think attendees do need the reward of interaction to make the in-person experience special. I noticed that the finalists of the All-Ireland Poetry Slam later in the day had the opportunity for a group photograph, and I think this would be an appreciated chance for the film competition too, for those that were there on the day.

Still image: Jelle Meys – La luna asoma

The winner of the competition was announced as La luna asoma (The moon appears), an animation by Jelle Meys of a poem by Federico García Lorca. I contacted Jelle to congratulate him on his win and ask him a few questions …

ME: The poem is read in Spanish, was subtitled in English, and you are Belgian. How fluent are you in Spanish? Were you aware of Federico García Lorca’s poem in a translation in your mother tongue, or in English? Which language version of the poem did you go to in your mind when you were thinking about the imagery for your animation?

JELLE: My mother tongue is Dutch, as I’m from the Flemish part of Belgium. When I decided to animate a poem, as a kind of practice, I hadn’t chosen a specific poem yet. So I just browsed through the poetry collections I own. One of those is an anthology of Federico García Lorca, with both the original poems in Spanish and their Dutch translations on the opposite pages. It was necessary to have the Dutch translation to ‘get the meaning’ (which is obviously relative with such metaphoric poetry), but I also wanted to stay true to the rhythm and the sounds of the original Spanish version. I can grasp quite a bit of Spanish, especially when written, because of my knowledge of French.

ME: In a YouTube video I saw, where you talk about your work (for another festival I think?), you mention that you are relatively new to animation but you have long been an illustrator … the sequence with the sea and the swimmers was just beautiful. Did you have a clear idea of how you wanted the movement of the bodies to happen before you began the animation?

JELLE: That YouTube talk was indeed for another festival, in Mumbai. Before getting into the animation, I drew a simple storyboard. So I did have some idea of what I wanted it to look like. But in the making of this film I learned a lot about animating, technically, which altered and influenced the final look. The swimmers sequence was a particularly tough one, because for that part I did have a clear vision in mind, and I didn’t want to compromise on it.

ME: What was your thought process on the colour palette that you chose?

JELLE: The colour palette was also very clear to me, pretty much right from the start. I’ve always loved the combination of brown and blue and considered it fitting for the somewhat melancholic tone of the poem. I also thought that a limited colour palette wouldn’t distract the viewer too much from the actual poem.

ME: The music is a perfect accompaniment. Was this pre-existing and if so, how difficult was it to find? Or was the music written or adapted for the film?

JELLE: My cousin, Michiel De Malsche, happens to be a composer and sound artist. He used samples and recordings from music workshops he had done in the past (hence why he didn’t ask for his name in the credits) and puzzled them together into a mesmerizing soundscape, which perfectly blends with that deep and warm voice of Joaquin Muñoz Benitez (a Spanish man living in Gent, Belgium).


Biography: Jelle Meys lives and works in Sint-Niklaas, Belgium. He studied Illustration and Graphic Design at School of Arts Ghent (2005-2009), where he also got his Teacher’s degree (2010). He currently teaches graphic design and illustration in high school, and works as a freelance illustrator, graphic designer and visual artist. He started taking film and animation classes in 2017, and has been infected with the animation bug ever since.

Top Ten: winners of Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition

Ó Bhéal winners 2013–2021

Paul Casey and Colm Scully, the judges of the  10th Ó Bhéal Poetry Film Competition hosted a very successful hybrid event on Sunday 27th November. For Moving Poems they are also kindly working on their top ten films of classic poems, as part of a fresh series of Top Tens that will be coming to the site soon (see previous top tens). Until then, here is a top ten to celebrate 10 years of the Ó Bhéal competition with the newly crowned 10th winner included in the list with the nine previous winners.

2022 Winner

Jelle Meys – Belgium – La Luna Asoma (The moon appears) (3:37)

Past winners

2013 Winner

Manuel Vilarinho – Portugal – No País Dos Sacanas (In the Land of Bastards) (3:50)

2014 Winner

Marleen van der Werf – Netherlands – Wadland (9:19)

(the full-length film is not available on the web)

2015 Winner

Cheryl Gross – USA – In The Circus Of You (6:07)

2016 Winner

Marie Craven – Australia Dictionary Illustrations (2:13)

2017 Winner

Kayla Jeanson – Canada – Descrambled Eggs (4:14)

2018 Winner

Álvaro Martín – Spain – Accident de Personne (3:35)

2019 Winner

Fiona Aryan – Ireland – Virginia gave me Roses (2:05)

2020 Winner

Peta-Maria Tunui, Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Jesse-Ana Harris, Lilián Pallares, Charles Olsen – Māori, Pākehā and Colombian – Noho Mai (5:33)

2021 Winner

Janet Lees – Isle of Man/England – What I fear most is becoming ‘a poet’ (6:10)

10th Winter Warmer festival, Ireland and online, 27th November – programme

Ó Bhéal’s 10th International Poetry-Film Competition is happening on Sunday 27th November 2022 at Nano Nagle Place in Cork, Ireland, and will also be live-streamed via their website, Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube as part of the 10th Ó Bhéal Winter Warmer festival.

There are 30 shortlisted films, divided between two screenings at 11.30am and 1pm (UTC). Films were chosen from 173 submissions, and the shortlist represents 17 countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, England, Germany, Ireland, Isle of Man, Northern Ireland, Philippines, Portugal, South Africa, The Netherlands, Ukraine, UK, USA, Wales and Zimbabwe.

The selected films and the full programme can be previewed at https://www.obheal.ie/blog/competition-poetry-film/poetry-film-shortlist-2022/

This year’s judges Colm Scully and Paul Casey, will select one winner to receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film, designed by glass artist Michael Ray. The winner will be announced directly after the shortlist screenings at Ó Bhéal’s 2022 Winter Warmer festival.

Ó Bhéal 10th Poetry Film Competition Deadline Looms

OBheal Poetry Film flyer

If you intended to send something in for Ó Bhéal’s 10th Poetry Film Competition, you have until the 31st of August. Here are the entire guidelines:

Submissions will be open from 1st May – 31st August 2022. Entries made outside of these dates cannot be considered. You may submit as many films as you like – each must interpret or convey a poem (present in its entirety, audibly and/or visually) and have been completed after the 1st of May 2020.

Entries may not exceed 10 minutes in duration. Non-English or non-Irish language films will require English subtitles.

Judges for 2022 are Colm Scully and Paul Casey.

The shortlist will be announced during October 2022 and one overall winner will receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film. Shortlisted films will be screened (and the winner announced) at the 10th Winter Warmer poetry festival (25th-27th Nov 2022).

Entry is free to anyone, and should be made via email to poetryfilm [at] obheal.ie – including the following info in an attached word document:

  • Name and duration of Film
  • Month & Year completed
  • Name of Director
  • Country of origin
  • Contact details
  • Name of Poet
  • Name of Poem
  • Synopsis
  • Filmmaker biography
  • and a Link to download a high-resolution version of the film.**

** If you are sending a vimeo or youtube link, etc, please ensure that the download button is enabled. All films not shortlisted by the judges are permanently deleted directly after the adjudication process.

Click through to watch previous winners.

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 …

What I fear most is becoming “a poet” by Katerina Gogou

This took the top honors in the 9th Ó Bhéal poetry film competition last fall, and I can see why. It’s a masterclass in bringing still images to life—and they’re powerful images, too: flaming trumpets facing off; an empty chair birthing clouds or smoke juxtaposed with the text “I fear that i might learn to use meter and rhythm / and thus I will be trapped within them”; clouds circling overhead as the words “they see to us being ashamed for not working” appear. Filmmaker Janet Lees‘ deep images are usually in service to her own texts, but this was a commissioned film, as the Vimeo description makes clear:

Filmmaker: Janet Lees
Poet: Katerina Gogou
Translator: G Chalkiadakis
Composer/musician: Tromlhie
Produced by +the Institute for Experimenal Arts and commissioned by the art platform filmpoetry.org, as part of the Digital Culture Programme, Ministry of Culture / Greece.

Katerina Gogou (1949-1993) was Greece’s greatest modern anarchist poetess. Her poems have become synonymous with the radical culture of Greece and with Exarcheia, the Athens neighbourhood known as the anarchist quarter. Born into the Nazi occupation of Greece, she lived through the years of far right military junta oppression and the country’s resurgent anarchist movement in the 1980s. An activist herself, she became a prophet of the movement and her poems anthems for it. She died of an overdose on 3 October 1993.

The judges’ comments may be read in the announcement post on +the Institute for Experimental Arts website:

There were so many beautiful filmpoems entered into the competition, I loved watching every single one of them, and appreciated all of the work, imagination and innovation that went into making them. In the end, the piece called What I fear most is becoming a poet stood out as a stunning example of filmpoetry as a unique art form. Janet Lees has created a powerful visual rendering of Katerina Gogou’s poem. I was both floored and inspired by it. Comhghairdeas ó chroí!
Paula Kehoe

What I fear most is becoming “a poet” is such an evocative and moving piece. Katerina Gogou’s poem, enormous in itself which speaks so intimately about the poet’s world of peril and uncertainty, met with this filigreed balance of soft pianissimo and perfectly-paced typography, the haunting, completely captivating visuals, the almost hesitant text (in places), and the very absence of voice bringing us so much closer to the poet’s inner sanctum… all just fantastically done. A highly worthy winner.
Paul Casey

From the same source, here’s Janet’s director’s note:

For me this poem resounds with the psychological distress Katerina experienced as a result of experiencing and bearing witness to collective trauma. Despair and loneliness hover over every line, but there is also a core of steel in the shape of her unwavering conviction and commitment to the cause and to her people. To bring this great poem to life as a poetry film, I drew on my own urban images and footage. In animating the stills, I used the recurring motif of fire and smoke to indicate rebellion and oppression/passion and despair. I worked with the composer/musician Tromlhie to bring out the poem’s emotional journey in musical form and to complement the poem’s slow build – layer upon layer of the fear of ‘becoming “a poet”’.

The northern Ireland-based CAP Monthly interviewed Janet after her win about how she came to poetry film and how she looks at it. It’s well worth a read.

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: 8th Annual Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition

In case you missed the brief link in last week’s news round-up, here’s a press release from Ó Bhéal with the full call-out.

The 8th annual Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition

2020 is Ó Bhéal’s eleventh year screening International poetry-films, and the eighth year featuring this competition. Up to thirty films will be shortlisted and screened during the festival in November 2020. One winner will receive the Indie Cork / Ó Bhéal prize for best Poetry-Film.

Submissions are open from: 1st May – 31st August 2020. You may submit as many entries as you like. Films must interpret, or convey a poem which must be present in its entirety (audibly and/or visually), having been completed no earlier than 1st of May 2018.

Entries may not exceed 10 minutes in duration. Non-English language films will require English subtitles. The shortlist will be announced during October 2020.

One overall winner will receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film. Shortlisted films will be screened (and the winner announced) at the 8th Winter Warmer poetry festival (27th-29th Nov 2020).

Entry is free to anyone, and should be made via email to poetryfilm [at] obheal.ie – including the following info in an attached word document:

  • Name and duration of Film
  • Month & Year completed
  • Name of Director
  • Country of origin
  • Contact details
  • Name of Poet
  • Name of Poem
  • Synopsis
  • Filmmaker biography
  • and a Link to download a high-resolution version of the film.**

**If you are sending a vimeo or youtube link, etc, please ensure that the download button is enabled. All films not shortlisted by the judges are permanently deleted directly after the adjudication process.

The Judges for this years competition are poet/playwright/filmmaker Dairena Ní Chinnéide & poet/filmmaker Paul Casey

Follow the link for an outline of the submission details:


News Round-Up: Pandemic Edition

“Why Poetry?” Video Podcast Special on Poetry Film with Lucy English


This is such an excellent look at the role of collaboration in poetry film-making. A very well-edited and satisfying program, focusing on Lucy English’s Book of Hours project, it ought to work well as an introduction to the genre for poets and filmmakers alike.

Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film Competition Open for Submissions

Guidelines here.

Weimar Poetry Film Award: Festival Postponed, Deadline Extended

Guidelines here.

FVPS Deadline Extended and The Symposium Postponed until Fall 2020

“The Film and Video Poetry Society will postpone our 3rd annual symposium; we are hopeful, and are committed to rescheduling for fall 2020. Submissions remain open and our deadline extended to August 3, 2020.” More here.

Newlyn PZ Poetry Film Competition Winners Announced

The 2020 Newlyn PZ Film Festival was cancelled, but we still know the winners of the poetry film competition thanks to a post at the increasingly indispensable Liberated Words website.

Cadence Video Poetry Festival, Other Film Festivals Move Online

Rather than cancel entirely, the Cadence Video Poetry Festival made the choice of screening films online in five screenings on 15-19 April. A number of other film festivals are opting to screen films online for a few days as well. It’s a shame that so many film festivals bar submissions of films that are freely available online. Otherwise it might be possible for Cadence and others to post all competition films to the web on a permanent basis, and people with dodgier internet connections (including myself) would have an easier time watching them. If the pandemic makes meat-space festivals impossible for the next couple of years, as seems possible, some festivals might end up doing a 180 and requiring all submissions to be available on the web. That would certainly shake things up!

Visible Poetry Project Films All Online

The Visible Poetry Project is one web-first, festival-like thing that wasn’t hurt by the pandemic. A film went up each day in April, and you can watch them all on their website.

New Book on Videopoetry by Valerie LeBlanc and Daniel H. Dugas

Books on or about videopoetry are a rarity, and this one is available for free as a PDF, with a print version due out later this year. Here’s Sarah Tremlett’s mini review. It’s cool to be able to read about the making of a film and then click a live link to watch it. I’ll be interested to see whether the print edition includes QR codes allowing readers with mobile phones to watch the films as they read.

Online “Festival of Hope” Features Videopoetry

This is a cool festival. And it looks as if the films may remain live for a while.

Corona! Shut Down? Open Call and Ongoing Release of Videos

New Media 2020 Corona Festival banner

It’s not just for poetry videos, but this is well worth checking out — and submitting to. As they say, “Corona isn’t the plague, and not all infected people are gonna be dying. Probably, the crisis is a wake-up call – to rethink and change!?”