Introducing the Film and Video Poetry Society

screenshot of the front page of the Film and Video Poetry Society website

Over the past two years, a mysterious, L.A.-based group called the Film and Video Poetry Society have built up a tremendous following for their Facebook page, on which they regularly share a wide variety of poetry films and videopoems from around the web. I liked the results so much, I included the link among the short selection of recommended sites at the bottom of the front page of Moving Poems — the first and so far only time I’ve done that for a page on the ubiquitous but web-destroying colossus that is Facebook.

Well, as of August 1 I no longer have to do that, because at long last they’ve debuted their own web platform… and it’s a doozy. Features include a live, TV-like channel of poetry videos, a finishing fund and production assistance program for poetry filmmakers, poetry translation assistance, and even a plan for print publications. Perhaps of most interest to readers of Moving Poems, they are welcoming submissions of film and video projects up to 32 minutes long for a big annual symposium to be held on April 27th – 28th, 2018 in Los Angeles. It would probably be easiest if I just pasted in the text of their About page:

OUR MISSION

The Film and Video Poetry Society (FVPS) mission is to encourage film and video poets to further their ongoing explorations by providing a platform for these artists to activate, collaborate, discuss, and maintain creative work developed through the convergence of these art forms.

FVPS PROGRAMS AND INITIATIVES

Finishing Fund
The first of our initiatives is The FVPS Finishing Fund and Assistance Program. This production award will assist film and video poetry projects that have started the creative process and seek additional assistance or funds to complete the final stages of production.

Poetry Beam
We established an experimental distribution, archival, and publishing format for film and video poetry. Poetry Beam is focused on audience development, live streaming, digital curation, film and video exhibition, immersive technologies, and new methods of media licensing.

Events
The Film and Video Poetry Society is dedicated to providing a platform for oral and written literature. We are doing this by coordinating international events such as poetry slams, readings, virtual panels, writing rooms, and pop-up poetry book-shops.

Annual Symposium
FVPS is also organizing an annual symposium where we will host film screenings, workshops, and panels for a two day period each spring.

Publishing
FVPS is currently adapting two poetry films into chapbooks and has published A Guide to Film and Video Poetry festivals!  

Translations
Finally, FVPS supports language diversity. Our efforts to assist poets and filmmakers to access wider audiences and festival markets include subtitling and closed captioning assistance for films of any language.
FVPS is developing a closed captioning app to offer video editors low cost multilingual translation on an academic level.

The Film and Video Poetry Society embraces a demanding dream. We strive to balance our new world’s increased desire for visual content with our old world love for literacy, printed matter, and the poetic word.

We are deeply grateful for the poets and filmmakers who contacted us over the past year.  The contributions of your work and the many ideas you have shared inspired our team to launch this platform.

Thank you for reading our mission statement and we encourage you to explore this website.

Click through to join their mailing list and check out the site.

A small disclosure: I have been in contact with someone (not sure who) from the FVPS a couple of times, and provided a critique of the site before it went public. They assure me they will reveal their identities soon, when they unveil a masthead. I am as always happy to welcome new websites and initiatives to the international poetry film/video fold, and I’ll be watching FVPS with particular interest given their evident good taste in poetry videos, their proven ability to generate social media buzz, and their physical location near the world’s most powerful center of cinematic production. I think their primary focus on filmmakers and artists makes great practical sense, because in my experience there’s much more openness to poetry film and videopoetry in those kinds of circles than (sadly) among poets.

Dave Bonta

Dave is the founder of Moving Poems, and posts videos for his own poems (along with lots of other stuff) at Via Negativa. Here’s a bio.

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