ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival – the programme is online


The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is presenting the International Competition to find the Best Poetry Films, together with a programme of film and poetry with the country focus on Canada/Québec, from 19 to 22 November in the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain and in the Haus für Poesie. The programme is online from now – and advance tickets go on sale next Monday.



THU 19.11. | 8 pm | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

The Festival is celebrating its opening with a preview in film of the highlights and programme focus areas. There will be readings by poets Kinga Toth and TJ Dema, with music by Canadian artist Stephen Paul Taylor.



FRI 20.11. | 5 pm Programme I: Precious Souvenirs

FRI 20.11. | 10 pm Programme II: Animated Poetry

SAT 21.11. | 2.30 pm Programme III: The Critical Society

SAT 21.11. | 7.30 pm Programme IV: Dignity of Man

SUN 22.11.| 8 pm Awards Ceremony

| all in the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Some 2,000 films from more than 100 countries have been submitted this year. From these, the Programme Committee have nominated 34 for the Competition. The Jury – poet Maren Kames, poet and video producer Tom Konyves and Martina Nix, film editor at Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) – will be awarding four prizes together worth € 12,000 at the Awards Ceremony on Sunday. They are the ZEBRA Award for the Best Poetry Film, donated by the Haus für Poesie, the Goethe Film Award, donated by the Goethe Institute, the Award for the Best Film for Tolerance, donated by the Federal Foreign Office and the Ritter Sport Film Award, donated by Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG.



FRI 20.11. | 7.30 pm Short Films

SAT 21.11. | 5 pm Feature Film: Plus haut que les flammes / Higher Than Flames Will Go

| all in the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

The country focus this year is on Canada and Québec – with a programme of short films curated from this year’s submissions, the poetic long film Plus haut que les flammes / Higher Than Flames Will Go by Monique LeBlanc after a poem by Louise Dupré and an online Master Class with the Canadian pioneer of video poetry, Tom Konyves.


FRI 20.11. | 2.30 pm From Romantic to Modern

FRI 20.11. | 2.30 pm Nature Poetry

FRI 20.11. | 5 pm Portraits & Essays

FRI 20.11. | 7.30 pm Self Revelations

FRI 20.11. | 10 pm Uproar!

SAT 21.11. | 12 pm New Talents

SAT 21.11. | 12 pm Ocean Poetry

SAT 21.11. | 2.30 pm Upraising Bodies

SAT 21.11. | 5 pm Feminist Voices

SAT 21.11. | 7.30 pm Pleasure and Pain

SAT 21.11. | 10 pm Mental Cinema

SAT 21.11. | 10 pm Internal and External Conflicts

SUN 22.11. | 2.30 pm Poems about Travel

SUN 22.11. | 5 pm Media and Society

SUN 22.11. | 5 pm Dealing with Poems

| all in the Filmtheater am Friedrichshain 

To accompany the Competition, the Festival will be giving an insight into the diversity of the poetry film scene from classical Modernism to current college productions, featuring 20 programmes with 250 animations, feature films and experimental films as well as documentaries. The thematic focus areas include human rights, feminism and eco poetry.



SUN 22.11. | 2.30 pm | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Following the ZEBRA’s call for entries, film makers have made film versions of this year’s Festival Poem, Lethe, by Batswana poet TJ Dema. The makers of the three best film versions have been invited to Berlin – Thelma Tunyi and Shanley Fermin (USA), Aleksandra Łojowska (Poland) and Emilia Strzałka (Poland). TJ Dema will be taking part in the evening via video.



FRI 20.11. | 7.30 pm + SAT 21.11. | 7.30 pm | Haus für Poesie

Eight poets from Germany and Canada/Québec, whose poems are the basis of films in this year’s Festival, will on two evenings be reading their work and talking to Daniela Seel about film versions of poems and their own poetic image worlds. Because of corona, the Canadian guests will be taking part via video.

On Friday, the poets reading will be Janet Rogers, First Nations Mohawk/Tuscarora writer from the Six Nations Reservation in Ontario; Louise Dupré, Grande Dame of contemporary poetry from Montréal; Dean Ruddock, slam poet from Weimar; and Kinga Toth, poetry performer from Hungary. On Saturday the readers will be Thunderclaw Robinson, slam poet and singer from Toronto; Marie Andrée Gill, who blends her Aboriginal identity with her Québec identity in her poetry; Ulrike Draesner, poet, novelist and essayist; and Hannah Schraven, poet from Berlin.





WED 18.11. | 10.30 am | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

In the ZEBRINO Competition, the Best Poetry Film for Children and Youth is chosen. The kids meet film makers and can vote for their favourite films. Registration at mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org


U 21

THU 19.11. | 10 am | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

This programme presents films based on poems by children and young people that have been made around the world or by the kids themselves.



THU 19.11. | 10.30 am | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

Goethe, Heine, Droste-Hülshoff: this programme, tailored to the curriculum for years 5 to 7 in Berlin, shows six poetry films based on ballads from the 18th and 19th Centuries. Registration at mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org



THURS 19.11. | 5 pm | Filmtheater am Friedrichshain

open poems are the six-month training workshops in the Haus für Poesie for up-and-coming poets aged 23 to 28. This year’s results will be presented in the form of poetry films.



FRI 20.11. | 9 am | Haus für Poesie

Under the guidance of Spoken Word artist Bas Böttcher the plots of favourite series or games will be made into rhythmic language. Registration at mitmachen@haus-fuer-poesie.org 


The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has been running since 2002. At the time it was the first international platform for short films based on poems – poetry films – and is still the biggest of its kind. It offers poets, film makers and festival organisers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange, getting ideas and meeting a wide audience. Featuring a Competition, programmes of films, readings by poets, retrospectives, workshops, colloquia and programme for children, it presents in various different sections the diverse genre of the poetry film.


THU 19.11.– SUN 22.11.2020

ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival

Filmtheater am Friedrichshain Bötzowstrasse 1–5, 10407 Berlin

Haus für Poesie Knaackstrasse 97, 10435 Berlin


Admission prices Screenings € 9/7 | Readings € 6/4

For more information, the full programme and to buy advance tickets haus-fuer-poesie.org


The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is hosted by the Haus für Poesie in co-operation with the Yorck Kinogruppe. It is sponsored by funding from the Land Berlin / the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and from the Federal Foreign Office, and gratefully acknowledges the kind support of the Goethe-Institut, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co KG and interfilm Berlin. The Canada/Québec Focus is part of Canada’s culture program as Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair 2020/21 and is supported by the Government of Canada (Embassy of Canada) and the Government of Québec (Delegation of the Government of Québec). It is presented by taz, Berliner Fenster, Berliner Filmfestivals and EXBERLINER.