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PoetryFilm is the influential research art project and screening series founded by Zata Banks FRSA in 2002, to celebrate experimental text/image/sound screening and performance artworks, and to explore semiotics and meaning-making within the art form. PoetryFilm was founded through personal practice, and through an interest in the creation, communication, perception and experience of emotion and meaning.

Since 2002, PoetryFilm has produced 90 events at cinemas, galleries, literary festivals and academic institutions – including Tate Britain, The ICA, Southbank Centre, Cannes Film Festival, CCCB Barcelona, O Miami, Freud Museum London, and Curzon Cinemas (see Past Events page for more). Lectures about PoetryFilm include sessions for MA Creative Writing (Warwick University), MA Filmmaking (National Film & Television School), MA Visual Communication (Royal College of Art), and BA Graphic Design (University of Lincoln). Zata Banks has judged poetry film prizes for the Southbank Centre (London), Zebra Festival (Berlin), CYCLOP Video Poetry Festival (Kiev, Ukraine), Apples & Snakes poetry organisation (UK), Bokeh Yeah film group (Manchester, UK) and Carbon Culture Review art+literature+technology journal (USA).

In 2014, Arts Council England funded the cataloguing of the entire PoetryFilm Archive, which at present contains over 1,000 artworks. In March 2015, Zata Banks contributed an academic presentation about this archive to an AHRC-funded conference at Leeds University. In December 2015, The British Film Institute awarded funding to curate and produce 3 PoetryFilm Paradox events for the BFI LOVE season. PoetryFilm is one of the British Council‘s listed Experimental Film organisations, is an accredited member of Film Hub London, part of the BFI Audience Network, and holds a trademark awarded by the Intellectual Property Office.

Curated programmes: Curated PoetryFilm screening programmes are available to book and can be tailored to specific themes.

Talks/presentations: Talks about the PoetryFilm project, and about the poetry film art form, can be prepared for festivals, conferences and academic institutions. 

Judging: Zata Banks is available to judge competition material.


“Recent signs of poetic cine-literacy include Zata [Banks’] PoetryFilm nights” – Oxford Handbook of Contemporary British and Irish Poetry, Oxford University Press, 2014

“The cult PoetryFilm night is the only UK platform for the creative but very much un-mined field of poetry film. The PoetryFilm movement led by Zata [Banks] is forging new cinematic expressions: an innovative cinema of poetry, and a language of poetry film.” – Genesis Cinema, July 2005

“Founded by artist Zata [Banks] over a decade ago, the PoetryFilm art project continues to play with the avant-garde” – AQNB magazine, 2014

“As part of the BFI’s LOVE season, the peerless PoetryFilm is back with a vengeance next week” + 

“Carbon Culture, in association with Zata Banks from the evergreen PoetryFilm project – have created an award that celebrates cinema at the intersection of image-practice and literature.” Conclave Magazine, December 2015

“A great event – one of the most interesting and invigorating I have been to this year!” – Arts Council England, 2014

“Zata [Banks’] regular London screenings have become something of a cult attraction to independent film-buffs and poetry-fans alike.” – Battersea Arts Centre, May 2005

“What a wonderful event! The films are stunning – I could watch them all again. Thanks so much for bringing this to us.” – Festival Director, Swindon Poetry Festival 2014

“PoetryFilm is opening up the barriers between the arts” – Inscribe Writers, February 2014



Zata holds BA and MA degrees from Warwick University where she studied literature, poetry, film, psychoanalysis and creative writing. Her poetry collection Doppelgangers was published in 2005. Her writing has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including The Art of Love, edited by (Poet Laureate) Andrew Motion, and she has featured on BBC Radio 4. Her creative work has been used for courses at institutions including The Royal College of Art, the Poetry School, and the National Film and Television School (NFTS); screenings of her film artworks include CCCB Barcelona, The ICA, Cannes Film Festival, O Miami and Tate Britain; and she has presented lectures for The University of Leeds, The University of Lincoln, London Met University, and the Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (FACT) Liverpool, among others. Alongside PoetryFilm, Zata works within the branding, marketing and advertising industries.

“There is much that I enjoy about the poems, not least their openness to experimental challenges” – Michael Schmidt, Carcanet

Photo of Zata - high res


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