** 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 predominantly online festival, we will host in-person events to the best of our ability given public health recommendations, though it cannot be guaranteed. 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 4th 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 2021.

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 their submission category:
• Adaptations/Ekphrasis
• Collaboration
• Video by Poets
• Poetry by Video Artists
• Wild Card

Award winners will be announced at the April screenings.

Meet the Jury

Catherine Bresner is the author of the chapbook The Merriam Webster Series; the artist book Everyday Eros (Mount Analogue 2017); and the empty season, which won the Diode Edition Book Prize in 2017. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in the VOLTA, b l u s h, Sixth Finch, The Offing, Heavy Feather Review, Gulf Coast, Passages North, Paperbag and elsewhere. She is the recipient of a Juniper Summer Institute fellowship and the 2019 Cadence Residency through the Northwest Film Forum. Currently, she is the publicist for Wave Books and lives in Seattle, WA.

Caryn Cline is a Seattle-based filmmaker, curator and educator, originally from the Missouri Ozarks. Her short experimental, animated, found footage and “botanicollage” films have been screened at the Venice Biennale, Alchemy, the San Francisco Exploratorium, Antimatter, Experiments in Cinema, Anthology Film Archives, Analogia, and other festivals and venues. Besides making films, she teaches handmade film techniques, is the Executive Director of the Interbay Cinema Society, and co-founder and co-curator of the Engauge Experimental Film Festival.

Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker and visual artist. He has been a recipient of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, an artist-in-residence at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab, and a finalist for the Seattle Art Museum’s Betty Bowen Award. He has made videos with several poets and writers, including Samiya Bashir (Field Theories), Dao Strom (Traveler’s Ode, Flower Diatribe #1, Love|Object|Treason), and Stacey Tran (Haft-Seen).

Nico Vassilakis writes poetry about reading seeing and draws language that focuses on the visual jettisoning of letters from their word position. He has published several books of poetry and text/art. Most recently VOIR DIRE was published by Dusie Books. Vassilakis co-edited The Last Vispo Anthology: Visual Poetry 1998-2008 (Fantagraphics Books) and was a curator of several international visual/concrete poetry exhibitions. He currently lives in Greenville, IL with his wife and animals.

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. All submissions will receive notification no later than April 1, 2021.

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

• Brief film synopsis
• Credits of all involved
• 1-2 high-resolution film stills
• 1920x1080 h.264 film exhibition copy

5. 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
  • Doug Lehmann

    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
  • This is an incredible festival. Great communication. Outstanding talent selected. Fantastic program all around. They made networking in this online era feel closer to what it was when it was live. Definitely on my list to retune year after year. Supportive and makes the artist feel very welcome

    May 2021