Friday, September 12, 2014

Poetry Film Competitions and Festivals

Updated on 5 November 2014 with the addition of Motionpoems.

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Technology has transformed the ability of poets to disseminate their words orally and aurally. Many journals feature audio versions of poems on their websites. Podcasts allow writers to reach ears around the world through their MP3 player earbuds. Recent years have seen the proliferation of video “trailers” for poetry collections. Expanding on the trailer should be an easy next step as writers can either collaborate with experienced filmmakers, or take advantage of video recording capabilities on mobile phones and tablets, to experiment with their own works and find new ways of reaching an audience.

Whether you call it a videopoem, a poetry-film, or something else, the number of international venues – both festivals as well as competitions – for films or videos based on poems continues to grow. Prior to 2009, there were two: the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin, Germany, which was founded in 2008, and Visible Verse, which got its start in 1999 as the Vancouver Videopoem Festival, in Canada. For three of the nine events listed below, 2014 marks their first year.

All but one of the festivals and competitions listed accept entries that feature poems in English or which have English subtitles. Only the International Videopoetry Festival, sponsored by VideoBardo in Argentina, requests that videopoems not in the Spanish language include Spanish subtitles, unless it “does not affect the understanding of the work.”

Only one of the competitions – the Shot Through the Heart Competition, in London – requires an entry fee to submit videos. The other festivals and competitions cost nothing to submit to, and many of them offer awards or monetary prizes to winners selected by a judge or jury. For some of the festivals, the honor is in being selected to have your videopoem/poetry-film screened during the festival and/or archived on the festival web site.

The following list shows currently active competitions and festivals. Please visit the event web site for complete details on entry deadlines, and the complete rules and regulations for each venue. Please also let me know if there are festivals or competitions that I should add to this list, which will be updated periodically. 

LIST - Poetry Film Competitions & Festivals
CYCLOP Videopoetry Festyval (Kyiv, Ukraine)
Founded: 2011
Length:  No longer than seven minutes
Categories: Best Videopoetry, Debut, Experiment, Animation video, People’s Choice Award.
Prizes: Statuettes, diplomas, prizes and souvenirs from partners. A selection of the submitted works will be screened during the CYCLOP Videopoetry Festival in November.


Filmpoem Festival (2013 Dunbar, Scotland; 2014 Antwerp, Belgium)
Founded: 2013 (as of 2014, Filmpoem Festival is now part of Felix Poetry Festival)
Length: No longer than ten minutes
Categories: No special categories
Prizes: None. Filmpoems will be screened as part of the Felix Poetry Festival in Antwerp.

the International Film Poetry Festival (Athens, Greece) – The +Institute [for Experimental Arts]
Founded: 2012
Length: No specified limit
Categories: No special categories
Prizes: Selected poetry films will be screened at the festival. There is no prize awarded.

International Videopoetry Festival (Argentina) - VideoBardo
Founded: 2009
Length: No limit
Categories: No special categories
Prizes: A selection of the submitted works will be screened during the festival. There is no prize awarded.
Liberated Words Poetry Festival Film Competition (Bristol, UK) – Bristol Poetry Festival
Founded: 2012
Length: No longer than three minutes
Categories: (for 2014) Memory – open submission to respond to the theme of “memory”.
Commemoration – response to a poem by Edward Thomas. Categories will vary from year to year.
Prizes: Prizes will be awarded for Best Editing for Poetic Effect, and Best Music. Unclear if there is a monetary prize or trophy award.

Motionpoems (MN, United States)
Founded: 2009
Length: Poems of less than 500 words
Categories: (for 2014) Arrivals and Departures – from poets residing in the United States, but not the state of Minnesota (2013 submissions were accepted from poets residing in MN).

Prizes: Selected poems will be made into videos and projected onto the façade of St. Paul’s Union Depot as part of a public art project.

Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition (Cork, Ireland)
Founded: 2010 (became an international competition in 2013)
Length: No longer than ten minutes
Categories: No special categories:
Prizes: One winner was awarded the IndieCork Festival prize for best poetry-film. Unclear if there is a monetary prize or trophy award.

PoetryFilm (London, England)
Founded: 2002
Length: n/a
Categories: Themed events throughout the year. Check web site for upcoming themes of interest.
Prizes: No monetary or other prize award. Selected poetry films will be screened at events.

Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival (Worcester, MA, US) – Doublebunny Press
Founded: 2014
Length: No longer than four minutes
Categories: Best Overall, Best Animated, Best Music/Sound, Best Smartphone Production, Best Under One Minute, Best Valentine, Shoots! Youth Prize
Prizes: $200 for Best Overall Picture category; $100 prizes for all other categories.

ReVersed Poetry Film Festival (Amsterdam)
Length: No longer than 12 minutes
Categories: No special categories.
Prizes: Selected works will be screened at the ReVersed Poetry Film Festival Amsterdam. Jury selects a winner as best of the festival. Unclear if there is a monetary prize or trophy award.

Shot Through the Heart Competition (London) – Southbank Centre
Founded: 2014
Length: No longer than five minutes.
Categories: Poetry films on the theme of love made for adults; Poetry films on the theme of love made for children (under 12).
Prizes: Best poetry film for adults will receive £500 to be split between poet and filmmaker, as well as a pair of tickets each to Poetry International’s Gala Reading. Runner up poet and filmmaker will receive a pair of tickets each to Poetry International’s Gala Reading. Best poetry film for children will receive £500 to be split between poet and filmmaker, as well as a pair of tickets each to Poetry International’s Gala Reading, also the winning film will be shown in Imagine Children’s Festival 2015 headlining a children’s poetry film event. Both winning films will be shown at the 2014 ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin.

Visible Verse (Vancouver, Canada) – the Cinematheque
Founded: 1999 (first ever Vancouver Videopoem Festival; Pacific Cinémathèque has partnered with VVF since 2000)
Length: No longer than 12 minutes.
Categories: No special categories.
Prizes: A selection of the submitted works will be screened during the Visible Verse Festival in October.

Das ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival zu Gast in Helsinki ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival (Berlin) – Literaturwerkstatt
Founded: 2008
Length: No longer than 15 minutes
Categories: No special categories
Prizes: Total value of prizes is €13,000. ZEBRA Prize for Best Poetry Film (donated by the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin); Goethe Film Prize (donated by the Goethe Institut); Ritter Sport Film Prize (donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG); Best Film for Tolerance (donated by German Foreign Office); ZEBRINO – Best Film for Children and Young People; Audience Prize (awarded by the radioeins jury).


1 comment:

Awkward Sexy Tiger said...

This is a great post! Thanks so much for it. I think I'll apply for them all!