Poetry film festival season is now in full swing. Major festivals are just ’round the corner in Vienna, Berlin, Mexico City, and Athens.
First up is the biannual Art Visuals & Poetry Film Festival scheduled for 29 November to 1 December in Vienna. Though mainly a German-language event, this year it includes a special focus on the US-based production company Motionpoems.
Then it’s time for the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, whose full programme is now online. They sent along a press release, worth reproducing nearly in full due the central importance of this festival to the poetry film genre.
Once again, Berlin becomes the centre for the poetry film. From 5 to 8 December, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will for the 10th time be presenting the poetry film in all its facets in the Kino in der KulturBrauerei cinema. For the first time the current poetry film from Germany is the centre piece of the festival. Poetry film creation in the United Kingdom will be given a special spot in the limelight. The programme is now online. And Tickets go on advance sale in mid-November.
THU 5 Dec | 20.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Guest of honour will be Jochen Kuhn, artist and film maker. A voice of contemporary German poetry, Özlem Özgül Dündar, is reading her latest poems. The music of the British and Berlin based multi-instrumentalist Rowan Coupland is often referring to poetry.
Part 1: Yearned-For Places FRI 6 Dec | 19.30 (Repetition SAT 7 Dec | 14.30)
Part 2: Common Values SAT 7 Dec | 19.30. (Repetition SUN 8 Dec | 14.30)
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei
From more than 500 submissions from all over Germany the Programme Commission has chosen the best poetry films for the Competition. The international Jury of three will be awarding the prizes to the winning films at the awards ceremony on 8 December.
SUN 8 Dec | 20.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
The international Jury, comprising Jana Cernik (AG Kurzfilm), Charlotte Warsen (poet) and Tim Webb (filmmaker), will be awarding four prizes: the ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie, the Goethe Film Prize, donated by the Goethe Institute, the Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance, donated by the German Foreign Ministry and the Ritter Sport Film Prize, donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG. Musical accompaniment for the evening will be provided by F.S. Blumm.
We Are Poets FRI. 6.12. | 5 pm
Very British FRI. 6.12. | 10 pm
State of the Art SAT. 7.12. | 5 pm
Stiff Upper Verse SAT. 7.12. | 10 pm
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei
The country focus this year is on the United Kingdom. The programme ‘State of the Art’ shows the latest British productions, curated by the poets and film makers Chaucer Cameron, Helen Dewbery, Lucy English and Sarah Tremlett. The ‘Very British’ programme is a Best Of from the past few decades of the British poetry film. The documentary ‘We Are Poets’ by Daniel Lucchesi and Alex Ramseyer-Bache celebrates its German première at the festival. In ‘Stiff Upper Verse’ the British poets Simon Barraclough, Lucy English and Roseanne Watt will be reading in English, Welsh and the dialect of the Shetland Isles.
Journey in the Mind FRI 6 Dec | 19.30
Transit SAT 7 Dec | 17.00
Parlour Games SAT 7 Dec | 19.30
Interrelations SAT 7 Dec | 22.00 | all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei
The Programme Commission has selected 35 films for Prism; three programmes present the broad spectrum of the German poetry film including animations, experimental films and features. The programme ‘Transit’ shows documentary portraits of poets.
design akademie berlin & Hochschule Anhalt, Dessau FRI 6 Dec | 17.00
UdK Berlin & KHM Köln FRI 6 Dec | 22.00
HFBK Hamburg & Hochschule Düsseldorf SAT 7 Dec | 14.30
HFK Bremen & Hochschule Mainz SAT 7 Dec | 22.00
Bauhaus-Uni Weimar & HBK Braunschweig SUN 8 Dec | 16.00
all in Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Colloquium: The Eye of the Poem SUN 8 Dec | 11.00 | Haus für Poesie
Master Class: Between Film and Poetry FRI 6 Dec | 14.00 | Haus für Poesie
The poetry film is a popular genre at universities and film academies. Students at ten German higher education institutions will be showing poetry films made in the course of a collaboration over a year. In the Colloquium Anna Anders (UdK Berlin), Sophie Maintigneux (KHM Cologne), Ulrike Almut Sandig (poet), Tim Webb (Royal College of Art) and Sarah Tremlett (Liberated Words CIC) will be discussing the position of the poetry film in German and British higher education institutions. And the director Jochen Kuhn will be giving a poetry film master class.
FESTIVAL POEM: [native vegetation a natural resource]
SUN 8 Dec | 17.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
In response to ZEBRA’s call for entries, film makers have submitted their film versions of this year’s festival poem, [dieses regionale getreide] ([native vegetation a natural resource]) by Daniel Falb. Film makers Zihrong Lu, Gruppe Leuchtstoff, Holger Mohaupt and Gabriele Nugara will present their film versions and be talking to the poet about poetry and film. You can read the poem on lyrikline.org.
WORD PICTURES – A ZEBRA NIGHT OF READINGS
FRI 6 Dec | 22.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Poems by Özlem Özgül Dündar, Adrian Kasnitz, Ulrike Almut Sandig, Kathrin Schmidt and Raed Wahesh are the basis of this year’s films in the Competition and Prism. In the ZEBRA Night of Readings the poets will be reading their texts and talking to Alexander Gumz about making films based on poems.
PROGRAMM FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG POEPLE
Media Workshop: The Spirits We Conjured up
WED 4 Dec | 9.00 | Haus für Poesie
Sorcerer’s Apprentices in the Moor of Horror: Programme of Ballads
THU 5 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Holes in the Head: Programme in Focus Language English
THU 5 Dec | 9.30 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
I Made It Myself: Films by Children for Children
FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
ZEBRINO Competition FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Kino in der KulturBrauerei
Poetry Workshop Writing Netflix! FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Haus für Poesie
Workshop Slam: Rucksack and a Journey FRI 6 Dec | 9.00 | Herder-Gymnasium
The Best Poetry Film for Children and Young People will be chosen by the young audience themselves in the ZEBRINO Competition. There will also be a colourful programme of workshops and films for Berlin schoolchildren with, among others, the Spoken Word artists Bas Böttcher and Nicole May.
As great as it is to see ZEBRA continuing to flourish, now to the point of becoming an annual festival, I’m equally excited to see a new poetry film festival springing up — in Mexico City. Check out FESTIVAL FOTOGENIA, I missed the call-out (sorry) but thanks to social media posts by filmmaker Helmie Stil, this didn’t escape my radar altogether. The description on their website suggests an avant-garde perspective on the genre:
FOTOGENIA, FIRST INTERNATIONAL FILM POETRY & DIVERGENT NARRATIVES FESTIVAL promotes a space with alternative conception of films, a celebration of experimentation and avant-garde framework, the love of curiosity and research of the seventh Art. Everyone is invited, taking into consideration the disruptive nature of the selected works.
We welcome you to watch films in another way!
If you are an audiovisual maker interested in provoking the cinematographic image through the exploration of the frontiers and limits of film narrative, genre, format and the nature of film itself, in order to converse with the viewers in innovative and critical ways to ignite a confrontation between reality and cinematic phenomenon, this is your place to exhibit your passion.
Meanwhile in Athens, the International Video Poetry Festival will be held on the weekend of the 14th and 15th. (But submissions remain open until November 20!) Special events this year will include a screening of videopoems by my co-editor Marie Cravens as well as the touring program of videopoems from around the world that she’s pulled together, Poetry + Video, plus the Margaret Tait 100 program celebrating the first Scottish woman to make feature films, who was also a pioneer of poetry in film. And there will be a videopoetry seminar panel including film-makers, writers, performers, and musicians.
Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t include a reminder that submissions are still open for REELpoetry/Houston TX 2020 (Deadline: December 9) and the 2020 Newlyn PZ International Film Festival (Deadline: February 24) .