Naomi van Niekerk‘s animation of a poem by Ronelda Kamfer. Like the Grand Prize winner What about the law, this was on the shortlist for the 2016 Weimar Poetry Film Awards. Both films were produced as part of a series of animated poetry shorts in Afrikaans called Filmverse, headed up by Diek Grobler under the aegis of the ATKV (Afrikaans Language and Culture Association). Here’s how Google Translate renders the website’s description of the project:
Classical poetry and the work of contemporary poets are used to create a “visual anthology” in which a dialogue is created between word and image. Each animation film is accompanied by its own soundtrack in which the poem is read among others. The end product is a DVD of about 30 minutes with the twelve animation films on which are displayed as a separate production. The DVD playback is accompanied by an exhibition of posters of each of the twelve animation films.
Die Jury des 1. Weimarer Poetryfilm-Preises, bestehend aus der Erfurter Dichterin Nancy Hünger, dem Leiter des ZEBRA Poetryfilm-Festivals (Berlin/Münster) Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel sowie dem Wiener Filmemacher Hubert Sielecki wählte den südafrikanischen Beitrag WHAT ABOUT THE LAW (2014, 3:14 min) zum Sieger des mit 1000,- € dotierten Jurypreises. Regie führte der südafrikanische Animationskünstler Charles Badenhorst; das dem Film zugrundeliegende Gedicht verfasste der südafrikanische Autor Adam Small.
The Audience Award went to Steel and Air, a film based on a poem by John Ashbery directed by Chris and Nick Libbey and commissioned by Motionpoems, which I shared back in March. The full list of nominees is on the Poetryfilmkanal website.
The latest poetry animation by artist (and Moving Poems Magazine columnist) Cheryl Gross illustrates a poem by her long-time collaborator Nicelle Davis. Additional credits include “Voice: Robert Fisher, Music: David Michael Curry, Performed by: Willard Grant Conspiracy.” Cheryl’s succinct description is also worth quoting:
This video poem tells of the emotional impact that terrorist drills, conducted by police, have on a non affluent community.
A powerful, affecting poem. I like how the viewer/listener gradually comes to understand that what originally seemed like surrealist hyperbole is in fact all too real — though Cheryl’s drawings keep our attention focused on just how wrong and bizarre it is.
Both poem and concept are credited to the Slovakian poet Eleni Cay; animation and score are the work of beyon wren moor of the ecofeminist film and theater production company LoveHoldLetGo (which has apparently let go of its former domain, loveholdletgo.com). The YouTube description also notes that “Intertwined was shortlisted for the Elbow Room Prize 2015 and for the Ó Bhéal International Poetry-Film Competition 2015.”
The latest addition to UK poet (and Liberated Words festival co-creator) Lucy English’s Book of Hours project comes from the U.S. artist (and Moving Poems Magazine columnist) Cheryl Gross. Her usual “Dr. Seuss on crack” approach to animation makes a great fit for the poem’s wry take on motherhood, I thought.
Incidentally, I believe that the call for filmmakers to contribute to the project is still open, if anyone’s interested.
Ted Hughes reads “The Door,” “Crow’s Vanity,” and “Crow Hears Fate Knock on the Door”—three poems from his 1970 tour de force Crow—in this stunning animation produced and directed by Yoav Segal. The other animators were Alasdair Beckett King, Nandita Jain, and Aindri Chakraborty; Leafcutter John was the composer and Holly Waddington the art director. See Vimeo for the full credits, which include this note: “The material started life as part of the Handspring UK theatrical production ‘CROW’.” Segal has uploaded a theatre clip from that production, which is interesting for comparison’s sake: