Bokeh Yeah! ‘Timeline Poem-Film Challenge’ screens at HOME Manchester, 29 March 2016
I am delighted to have been invited to judge this poem-film competition in Manchester on 29 March 2016. The press release is below.
Local filmmakers adapt poems to the big screen
Manchester-based filmmaking group, Bokeh Yeah! has launched its third ‘Timeline Poem Film Challenge’ in collaboration with local publishers Carcanet Press, Flapjack Press and Commonword. The project helps Bokeh Yeah! members adapt poems provided by the publishers into short films using DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) cameras. Publishers and filmmakers from across the region were invited to take part in the 2016 challenge, widening the opportunity for creative collaboration. Previous associates include award-winning short story publisher, Comma Press.
The completed short films will be screened at HOME, Manchester’s premium arts centre, on 29 March with support from Manchester Literature Festival. An independent judging panel, including Zata Banks, poem-film maker and founder of the PoetryFilm project; poet and Senior Lecturer at the University of Manchester, Vona Groarke; and Michael Symmons Roberts, poet and Professor of Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University, will choose their favourite film, with a £300 cash prize to be divided between the winning filmmaker and poet. The event will also include performances and live readings from an array of internationally-renowned poets, and a showcase of student film adaptations of Emeriti poets. The students were also given the challenge whist studying at Fujairah Women’s College Higher College of Technology. Cultural links are being made with Bokeh Yeah! and UAE, whilst Adele Myers is working out in Fujairah in the college.
‘Collaborating with Bokeh Yeah on the poem film challenge has so far been an engaging and rewarding experience’ explains Carcanet’s Sales Manager, Katie Caunt. ‘Poetry itself is a fluid and restless form, the bed-fellow of experimentation and invention. Transforming that vivacity to a visual medium will, we hope, not only reassert the cultural significance of poetry within the arts today but also open a channel of communication for those who have been reluctant to enjoy poetry in the past. We’re also thrilled to be a part of a pioneering project which takes film in new and unchartered directions.’
Bokeh Yeah! founder, Adele Myers, claims that the Timeline project has sparked a revival of artistic partnership in Manchester: ‘These kinds of collaborations have always been evident in this city, with artists from different disciplines working with and aiding each other. Timeline is also backed by the larger, more well-established organisations, which solidifies the foundations of new expression. Manchester has a unique talent base, and it’s not only about music and football. There are many other incredible artists here and Timeline’s aim is to enable them to come together and share ideas, skills and content creation.
‘Bokeh Yeah! also helps give the next generation of filmmaking talent the support and exposure they need to help kick-start their careers in the film industry, by introducing them to fellow filmmakers and other relevant organisations. This is our third poem-film challenge, and using poetry as the foundation for filmmaking in this way is fantastic for both art forms. Working alongside publishers such as Carcanet, Commonword, and Flapjack Press, and having the support of organisations like the Manchester Literature Festival and HOME, the film community of Manchester can continue to grow.’
Award-winning film producer Andrew Oldbury, who has produced many of the previous Timeline poem-films as part of the initiative, said ‘Manchester has always had a special relationship with both literature and film, so it’s incredibly exciting to see the two come together in new and innovative ways. Hopefully Timeline will help young filmmakers take their first steps into the industry.’
For more information contact:
Bokeh Yeah! Carcanet Press
Julie Spellman Katie Caunt
Note to Editor
Established in 2011, Bokeh Yeah! is a skill-sharing film school that covers all areas of film production, specifically using DSLR cameras. The group explores the various processes of filmmaking and teaches technical skills such as camera operation, sound editing, lighting and much more. It hosts demonstrations of filming equipment, inviting industry professionals to present to the group and offer advice and guidance. It also showcases films made with DSLR cameras, and co-ordinates challenges to create short films in a variety of genres.
Over the years, Bokeh Yeah! members have created, through structured challenges, numerous short films ranging from poem-film adaptations to music videos. Past collaborations with Comma Press, Single Cell Collective, Manchester Craft and Design Centre, KinoFilm and Three Minute Theatre, have helped to pool the talent to create these films. These organisations have offered assistance in multiple ways – providing venues for example, or via instructional talks, helping to nurture the peer-to-peer educational ethos of the group. Furthermore, some of the films created have screened at film festivals around the world including Berlin, Poland, Portugal and South Africa, and the renowned Zebra Poem Film Festival.
Bokeh Yeah! was founded to bring together emerging filmmakers interested in developing their skills through sharing sessions, workshops, and collaborative opportunities. The group is administrated voluntarily and offers free peer-to-peer training to those who attend. As a community training and networking organisation, Bokeh Yeah! is dedicated to enabling talent to flourish.
The sessions are free and hosted at MadLab in Manchester on the first Tuesday of every month from 7pm-9pm.
Adele Myers is the founder and Artistic Director of Bokeh Yeah!. She is currently living and working in Fujairah, UAE teaching young Emirati women to create films. The showcase will include to students films from Fujairah Women’s College of Higher College of Technology. These two films are adaptations of local Emirati poems by Sahad AL Abdouli and Ahmed Tayel.
Founded in 1969 by Michael Schmidt, Carcanet is an outstanding literary publisher of contemporary and classic poetry in English and translation, innovative fiction and non-fiction. Carcanet’s celebrated authors include Muriel Spark, Chinua Achebe, Nobel Prize-winners Orhan Pamuk, Octavio Paz, Jose Saramago, Joseph Brodsky and Czeslaw Milosz, and many outstanding discoveries.
Exploring the synergy between performance and the page. New poetry and poetry theatre from the North West.
Helping new writers fulfil their potential online, in performance and in print
Zata Banks is the founder of PoetryFilm, the influential research art project established in 2002 to celebrate experimental text/image/sound screening and performance material, and explore semiotics and meaning-making within this art form. Since its inception, PoetryFilm has produced over 80 events at cinemas, galleries, literary festivals and academic institutions including Tate Britain, The ICA, Southbank Centre, CCCB Barcelona, O Miami, and Curzon Cinemas. Lectures about PoetryFilm have been held for the following: MA Creative Writing (Warwick University), MA Filmmaking (The National Film & Television School), MA Visual Communication (The Royal College of Art), and BA Graphic Design (The University of Lincoln). Zata Banks has judged poetry film prizes for the Southbank Centre, Zebra Festival (Berlin), CYCLOP Video Poetry Festival (Kiev, Ukraine), Apples & Snakes poetry organisation (UK), and Carbon Culture Review art+literature+technology journal (USA). PoetryFilm is an accredited member of Film Hub London, part of the BFI Audience Network, and holds a trademark awarded by the Intellectual Property Office.
Award-winning Irish poet, Vona Groarke, has published seven collections with Gallery Press, the latest being Selected Poems (2016). Others include Spindrift (2010), Flight (2002), which won the Michael Hartnett Award, and Juniper Street (2006), as well as her translation from Eibhlín Dubh Ní Chonaill’s eighteenth-century Irish, Lament for Art O’Leary (2008), which is currently being adapted as an opera by Irish composer, Irene Buckley. Her poems have recently appeared in Yale Review, The New Yorker, Kenyon Review, Boston Review, The Guardian, The Times and Poetry Review. In 2010, she was elected to Aosdána, the Irish Academy of the Arts. Current Editor of Poetry Ireland Review, she is also a selector for the Poetry Book Society in the U.K. She is a Senior Lecturer teaching poetry in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Manchester.
Michael Symmons Roberts