Poetry films are as old as the art of film-making itself. So why does it seem to be such a young film genre? Poetry is an independent art as old as humanity. But it has always at the same time been an art form that crosses genre boundaries, one without which other art forms would be inconceivable. The French painter Eugène Delacroix expressed it well when he said, »There is no art without poetry.« From a historical point of view, it has always been the other arts that have come to poetry because they find themselves reflected there. The oldest-known poetry film dates from 1905 and was made in the USA. In this festival, we will be taking a closer look at poetry films from the 1920s, 30s and 40s; and we will be welcoming Gerhard Rühm, one of the pioneers of the German poetry film. Only since computers have existed has it been possible for film to make a structural response to poetry, switching at will between real and virtual worlds in an instant. From this point of view, poetry films are a very young genre that is now being created all around the world. A colloquium will be providing context for this phenomenon. For the first time, directors and organisers of poetry film festivals from many countries will be meeting here to discuss strategies for better networking and for intensifying the popularisation of the genre.
The programme commission, comprising film directors, festival organisers and poets, has put together an exciting array of films around the competition, including everything from films for children to horror and erotic films for the midnight hour. The diverse range of the poetry film is reflected in the many various animations, experimental, story and documentary films. For the first time, thirty-three films have been made of one and the same poem, Ulrike Almut Sandig’s [meine heimat] ([my home]). This year’s festival’s will focus on Poland, featuring poetry films from that country as well as the results of the German-Polish »Poetic Encounters« collaborative film creation workshop.
As well as the ZEBRA prizes, there will also be prizes for the first time in the new categories of »Best Debut Film«, »Best Film for Tolerance« and »Best Poetry Performance on Film«. You can also be there when poets from many countries present themselves to film makers and of course to us, the audience, in a long night of poetry readings. Film goes poetry! A big welcome to all film makers and poets and to our audience.
We wish to express our deepest thanks to the Hauptstadtkulturfonds and all our supports, sponsors and media partners.
Director of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin