ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival Münster/Berlin: Winners 2016

The International Jury, with filmmaker and journalist Jasmine Kainy, Dutch poet Erik Lindner and publisher of poetry film magazine Guido Naschert, awarded four prizes:

The ZEBRA Prize for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie:

Boy Saint (IRL 2018)
director: Tom Speers
Poem: „Boy Saint“ by Peter LaBerge

Jury Explanation

„Young men died and die, / in bodies like this and don’t ghost, except / on voice messages their mothers play to keep / alive.“ The tragic-beautiful tone of the young US-poet Peter LaBerge’s poem sets the mood with which the emotionally moving film by Tom Speers approaches the topics of „Queerness“, „Infection“, and „Physicality“, the complex relationships of religion, desire, and the forbidden.

Strategies of sacralization in language, music and image suggest a complex of guilt and oppression creating feelings of ambivalence without attacking anyone superficially. The seemingly authoritative voice thus ultimately remains an element of what we found to be a long-lasting irritation, a thought-provoking disturbance.

In Boy Saint the poet writes honestly frankly, filmmaker and cameraman embody their subject. Capturing the moment one detaches from the other, those who were once one.

This notion is represented by a group of boys that horse around, cavort, fight, wander around, make jokes, and romp. When we see from up close the other is different, we become aware of ourselve. In biblical terms – a thorn comes between us.

Just as in Michael Ondaatjes novel The Cat’s Table the boy by chance sees how the blouse of a girl falls open, and at that moment the world tears apart and will never be one again.

The world is devided in two sexes. The Irish director Tom Speers and the American poet Peter LaBerge let this realisation take place within one sex. It is an impressive film in which boys discover both their beautiful and ugly sides.

The Goethe Film Prize donated by the Goethe Institute goes to:

Stad in die mis | City in the Mist (ZA 2016)
director: Jac & Wessel Hamman
Poem: „Stad in die mis“ by D.J. Opperman

Jury Explanation:

Stad in die Mis / City in the Mist – props up the poem by D. J. Opperman like one places a statue on a column to better present it. It is an artwork of steel that looms up out of the white fog.

The city is a beast with haunting eyes. Like an orchestra playing a prelude, the film presents the heart of the poem in precise images, and elaborate sound-design, before we hear or read the text. Stad in die Mis is a perfectly harmonious creation, in which every detail, image and sound, found its right place.

The Prize for the Best Film for Tolerance donated by the German Foreign Ministry goes to:

Hate for Sale (NL 2017)
director: Anna Eijsbouts
Poem: "Hate for Sale“ by Neil Gaiman

Jury Explanation:

In Hate for sale pierro comes again to life to advertise and sell us off his „ice cream cart“ balls of hate. „Lovely hate, your life is rough / buy my hate, you'll come right back for more / hate for sale, enough to start a war /“ – with light irony the poem and the film pinch upon a very large subject: the hate that we see increasing in the world.

In the film a diabolic form of irony comes to seduce the people to take the easy way out and choose hate. Using voice and animation that evoke a lot of past references of cinematic and literary evil this film reminds us that this is not our first round with hate. That we need to face the complexity of a diverse society, notice how easily opinions are swayed. This film in its smooth and light way is asking us to be aware of who is selling us what and why.

Special mention: Ayny - My Second Eye (D 2016) by Ahmad Saleh (Poem „Ayny - My Second Eye“ by Ahmad Saleh).

The “Ritter Sport Prize” in the German language competition, donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH und Co KG:

Standart Time (D 2017)
director: Hanna Slak
Poem: „silhouetten in turbulenz“ by Daniela Seel

The ZEBRINO Prize for the Poetry Film for Children and Young People went to:

Scrappy (USA 2016)
director: Dawn Westlake
Poem: „Scrappy“ by Donald G. Westlake

Merle Radtke, the new director of the Kunsthalle Münster, the filmmaker Rainer Komers and the author Sabrina Janesch formed the jury for the NRW competition.

The Prize for the best Poetry Film from Northrhine-Westphalia, donated by the Filmwerkstatt Münster goes to:

„(No) We, I, Myself and Them?“ (D 2017)
director: Christin Bolewski
Poem: „Massacre“ by Liao Yiwu