The poetry film is as old as filmmaking itself, though it was first able to development into its own aesthetically rich and internationally diverse genre after the invention of the computer. The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival was the first, and is the biggest and most important platform for poetry films. It has taken place biennially since 2002. This year, 770 films from 70 countries were submitted. The Programme Committee – consisting of filmmakers and poets – nominated 29 films to be in contention for the trophies and the prizes, worth a total of €12,000. Additionally, they have also put together a fascinating four-day program. There are poetry films for children to be seen, as well as the romantic and the fantastic, music and dance films.
Once again this year we made a worldwide callout for film versions of a specific poem. 23 filmmakers from 10 countries responded to the call and sent in their cinematic versions of Björn Kuhligk’s »Love in the Times of the EU«. The best of them will be shown at the festival, and Björn Kuhligk will chat with the filmmakers.
A backward look at the important milestones of the poetry film is directed this year at the 1960s to the 1980s, and at a retrospective of the work of the poet, filmmaker and action artist Dieter Roth.
The national focus this year is Norway, whose innovative film production enjoys special attention; as do poetry films that were produced in Cologne, Düsseldorf, Weimar, Halle and Leipzig.
Be there when poets from various countries introduce themselves to filmmakers – and of course, to us – in a reading.
Film goes poetry! A cordial welcome to all filmmakers and poets and to our audience.
We sincerely thank our partners and sponsors, without whom such a festival would not have been possible.
Director of the Literaturwerkstatt Berlin