~ Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival ~

Poetry film festival news: upcoming screenings and calls for submissions

The autumn months may be the prime time for poetry film festivals, but two festivals are hosting special screenings in early March. On March 5, UK’s Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival will be reprising many of its 2014 selections in a two-hour screening called “Reflections” at The Little Theatre Cinema in Bath, as part of the Bath Literature Festival. “First shown in September at The Arnolfini, Bristol we are now including a new film from Bath Spa University students entitled Mesmorism,” says Lucy English on the Liberated Words Facebook page, which includes the full details.

Berlin’s ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is also on the road, but traveling a bit farther: “The Literaturwerkstatt Berlin will present the best poetry films of the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival at the German-Russian shortfilm festival ‘Vkratze!’ in Wolgograd [Volgograd]” in Russia on March 7, says Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel on Facebook, sharing a link to the event page. It sounds like an interesting festival over-all, “dedicated to the interaction of Germany and Russia in the field of short film as well as the involvement of young filmmakers and the audience in a diversified festival context.” The ZEBRA screening will include films from all over the world, but with a particular emphasis on Germany and Russia, as I understand it.

(The ZEBRA folks are unusually active in pursuing international screening opportunities; be sure to join their Facebook page and/or group if you want to make sure to stay informed about all of their activities. I don’t always get around to linking them here.)

Yet another Facebook page, the Filmpoem group, is my source for the next tidbit: Alastair Cook posted that

Filmpoem will be doing an open call for this year’s festival and events around the UK, opening on the 1st March and closing on the 1st May. This year we’ll do a digital as well as hard copy call, you may be relieved to hear! First event? Hidden Door in Edinburgh, home turf for once! We’re on Sunday 24th May. Get your tickets sorted, this one will be big!

See the Hidden Door website for more info on that event. And if you’re a filmmaker or videopoet, get ready to submit not only to Filmpoem but also to Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival in Worcester, Massachusetts. Submissions open on 27 February—next Friday—for its 2015 festival. See the Rules page for complete details. It looks as if they’ll be continuing their unique focus on poets as active filmmakers:

The work must be the submitter’s original work: the poetry must be by the submitter, and that person should be directly involved in the process of making the video. We want you to make the video, not hire someone else to make it. This is not to say that we think asking for help is a bad thing – we think teaming up is super, actually. Just, you know, respect the spirit of this thing, and don’t buy it, make it. If you’re a filmmaker making a video for a poet, you should submit together as a team. Just make sure the poet has a part in this filmy business other than just handing you the poem, natch.

News roundup: Read Our Lips Filmpoem Competition, Rabbit Heart DVD, animated poetry film screening in Leipzig

Spoken-word poets from the north of England are invited to submit films to the Read Our Lips Filmpoem Competition 2015.

Read Our Lips is a unique digital project that aims to give poets and spoken word artists the skills to make their own filmpoems, from storyboarding through to editing.

We believe that a filmpoem is not a recording of a performance to camera, but is instead a layering of visual elements on to a spoken poem in such a way as to create a new, coherent work of art. We are looking for films that do more than simply illustrate the featured poem in a literal way, but which seek to surprise, enhance or subvert by their choice of additional imagery.

Click through to the Facebook event listing for the competition terms and conditions. The deadline is February 23, 2015. Prizes total £225. (I especially liked this bit: “All poems will be screened online during March 2015 for entry into the viewer’s choice prize category.”)


Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2014 DVDHere’s a cool thing: just in time for the holidays, a Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival 2014 DVD from Doublebunny Press.

All the best video from the 2014 Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival collected in one place, including category reels, and the Best of What Not to Submit Monday.
Films by:
Yves Bommenel, Greg Brisendine, John Mortara, Sarah Guimond, Aisha Naseem & Chris Markman, Josh Lefkowitz and Chris Follmer, David Richardson, Timothy David Orme, Meriel Lland, Megan Falley and Rachel Rae Gausp, Malt Schlitzman, Cheryl Maddalena, Sou MacMillan, Jenith Charpentier, Laura EJ Moran, Scott Woods, Michael Medeiros, Cassidy Parker Knight & Jeff Knight, and Allan & the Nieces

To sample some of the films included on the DVD, see their YouTube page.


Here’s an upcoming screening that sounds kind of intriguing: Leipzig-Präsentation von LAB/P – poetry in motion.

Wir präsentieren 9 Animationsfilme, die in der interdisziplinären Zusammenarbeit von AutorInnen und FilmemacherInnen aus der Region entstanden sind. Die Werke ermöglichen einen spannenden Einblick in zeitgenössische Lyrik und Animationsästhetik und geben Gelegenheit, neue künstlerische Positionen zu entdecken.

Which Google Translate renders as:

We present 9 animated films that have arisen in the interdisciplinary collaboration between authors and filmmakers from the region. The works provide a fascinating insight into contemporary poetry and animation aesthetics and given the opportunity to discover new artistic positions.

Here are the details:

Donnerstag, 11. Dezember 2014
Kleiner Empfang ab 19:30 Uhr, Vorführungsbeginn 20:00 Uhr
UT Connewitz, Wolfgang-Heinze-Straße 12, 04277 Leipzig, www.utconnewitz.de

KANTEN DEINER AUGEN (Melissa Harms & Yevgeniy Breyger)
ROSTOCK, GRAND CAFÉ (Susann Arnold & Moritz Gause)
DAS BILD IN DEM BILD IN DEM BILD IN DEM BILD (Catalina G. Veléz & Marlen Pelny)
ECHO (Damaris Zielke & Peter Thiers)
AUSGEBRANNTES HAUS (Eva-Maria Arndt & Antje Kersten)
OHNE TITEL (Meng Chang & Daniel Schmidt)
VIVA VIOLENCE (Johanna Maxl & Katharina Merten)
DIE ANGST DES WOLFS VOR DEM WOLF (Juliane Jaschnow & Stefan Petermann)
KASPAR HAUSERIN (Nelly Chernetskaya & Katia S. Ditzler)


Thanks for all three of these news items to the fabulous Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel, who seems to know about everything related to poetry film going on anywhere on the world, and posts it all to the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival group page on Facebook.

Two calls for submissions: Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival and Art Visuals & Poetry Festival

A new poetry film festival is slated for Worcester, Massachusetts, USA: the Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival, sponsored by Doublebunny Press. The screening is in September, submissions are open until June 1, and — unusually for a poetry film festival — there’s a $25 submissions fee, and six winners will get cash prizes: “Best Overall Picture will win $200, and there will be $100 prizes in categories for Best Animation, Best Music in a Video, Phone Shot, Under 1 Minute, and Valentine.”

Two other unique features of this contest and festival: they want only what I would call videopoetry or filmpoetry — no footage of the poet herself reading her work, and they’re looking for author-made films, requiring the poet to be “directly involved in the process of making the video.” Also, judging is blind, so the film can’t contain any credits. All in all, this is definitely one of the most unique poetry film festival call-outs I’ve seen. Check it out.

Another poetry film festival is scheduled for November in Vienna, Austria. The Art Visuals & Poetry Festival has been going on for several years now, and its website is a good source for information on various film festivals and poetry film-related activities, especially for those who read German. The 2014 festival includes an international competition using a recording of a poem by Georg Trakl as well as a competition for Austrian filmmakers. The deadline is September 30.

The Austria-specific contest is for what they call a textfilm. In contrast to the Rabbit Heart folks, they cast a pretty wide net:

Whether abstract, classic, animation, narrative or cinematographic : the genre of poetry film is colorful and varied. There are also many definitions. The Scottish photographer and filmmaker Alistair Cook defined the poetry film recently with the following words: “A poetry film is… a single entwined entity, a melting, a cleaving together of words, sound and vision. It is an attempt to take a poem and present it through a medium that will create a new artwork, separate from the original poem.” In contrast to the Anglo-American world, we accept all kinds of literary art works, that meet the predicate literary. It can be abstract sound poem or poetic prose or naughty poetry slam. Therefore we sometimes use the word “textfilm” as a synonym for the word “poetry film”.

Anyway, do read their call for entries.

Don’t forget that the main Moving Poems links page includes, as its last category, a nearly complete list of international poetry film festivals. For recent festival news and call-outs, browse the “festivals and other screening events” topic here at the forum.