** COVID-19 UPDATE: As the state of film exhibition and physical gathering remains uncertain during the pandemic, Cadence will take place in April as scheduled. While we are planning for a hybrid festival, NWFF will continue adapting to evolving recommendations to protect the public from COVID-19. Whether we gather online, in-person, or some hybrid variation of the two, community, dialogue, and education through media arts WILL persist, during Cadence’s 5th year serving the video poetry artist community! **

Verse meets visuals in motion during a series of cinepoem screenings, ekphrastic responses, and generative workshops celebrating National Poetry Month.

Northwest Film Forum is soliciting video poetry for inclusion in Cadence Video Poetry Festival, with selected submissions screening in April 2022.

Video poetry is language as light. As an art form, video poetry is lucid and liminal—on the threshold of the literary and the moving image. It articulates the poetic image visually, rather than metaphorically—it shifts words from page to screen, from ink to light. A video poem makes meaning that would not exist if text was without image, image without text. It is language-based video work or a video-based poem. Video poetry is a literary genre presented as visual media.

We are looking for works that fit within the following categories of video poetry.

• Adaptations/Ekphrasis: Videos created to bring new meaning and dimension to pre-existing poetry. Any poems used for this purpose must be in the public domain or else used with written consent of the author.

• Collaboration: Video poems created in collaboration between a video artist and writer.

• Video by Poets: Poets creating video from, or as, their writing.

• Poetry by Video Artists: Video artists using text visually or through audio intrinsic to the poetic meaning.

• Wild Card: Video work that’s poetically informed or poetry that’s visually informed that doesn’t neatly fit into one of the other categories.

Cadence Video Poetry Festival is presented by NWFF and programmed in collaboration with Chelsea Werner-Jatzke and Rana San.

Image: "Black Paint" (Hanan Hassan, Seattle, WA)

Founded in Seattle in 1995 as an independent film and arts nonprofit, Northwest Film Forum incites public dialogue and creative action through collective cinematic experiences. Each year the Forum presents hundreds of films, festivals, community events, multidisciplinary performances, and public discussions. As a comprehensive visual media organization, the Forum offers educational workshops and artist services for film and media makers at all stages of their development. More information is available at nwfilmforum.org.

Video poems will be eligible for an award within these categories:
• Adaptations/Ekphrasis
• Collaboration
• Video by Poets
• Poetry by Video Artists
• Wild Card
• Northwest Artist

Award winners will be announced at the April screenings.

Jury members TBA!

Submission deadline: March 1

1. We welcome submissions in all languages. As the judging will be by English speakers, we ask that films in other languages contain English subtitles. If a barrier to understanding language is part of the concept of your video poem, we will respect the stylistic choices of the artist and honor the piece in its authentic form.

2. We encourage submissions under 5 minutes including credits, and will consider longer works on a case by case basis.

3. If your film has subtitles, captions, and/or audio descriptions available, please provide these as a .srt or .vtt file (if they’re burned in, that is fine!). If your film does not have captions, we will offer you resources to create an accessible experience for audiences.

4. All submissions will receive notification no later than April 1, 2022.

5. If selected for screening at the festival, the filmmaker will be required to submit the following:

• Brief film synopsis
• Credits for director(s) + writer(s)
• 1-2 high-resolution film stills
• 1920x1080 h.264 film exhibition copy
• Caption/subtitle file either burned in or as .srt or .vtt

6. Each selected video poem will receive an artist fee.

7. By submitting a film to Cadence Video Poetry Festival, you certify that:

• You are the owner of the film you have submitted or you have full authority to submit the film to the festival.

• This film is not subject to any litigation nor is threatened by any litigation.

• This film is your original work and you agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Northwest Film Forum and its employees, volunteers and board of directors individually and collectively, from and against all claims, complaints, causes of action, liabilities, judgments, losses, costs and expenses including reasonable attorneys fees arising out of or in connection with any and all claims and/or third party claims based on materials you are submitting to the festival.

Overall Rating
  • This is a prestigious festival, one of many interesting events and series put on by the Northwest Film Forum. We were honored to be included.

    November 2021
  • Thanks for screening our film! Great festival.

    June 2021
  • A joy to have a work selected for the 2021 festival after being a semi-finalist in the past. The films were screened online with additional talks and seminar opportunities like a live, Cinema Divina session. Communication was great. The Northwest Film Forum was the sponsor and everything they are involved in is top tier. Highly recommend to all my fellow poetry filmmakers.

    June 2021
  • anida ali

    The Cadence Video Poetry Festival was incredible. We're so honored to be selected into the line-up -- some really visually stunning work. The staff of the festival, hosted at Northwest Film Forum, was incredible to work with and so communicative and responsive. They were also very generous allowing passes to our student team since our film was a collaborative effort. I highly recommend this festival.

    May 2021
  • Bobby Morris

    our goal in entering festivals, was to connect - not in the capitalist sense but in the spiritual or political sense. to make a full circle, from poetic colaboration through poetic production through to poetic consumption. the last piece of that was felt so clearly at Cadence! It was felt in the tone of communication, the amount and timeliness of it, and the thoughtfulness in events and material to communicate to people close to us. And it was felt in the company and quality of the films being shown! thank you for this gift.

    May 2021