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 2024. Each selected video poem will receive an artist payment.

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:

• Video Poetry: Visual media that makes new meaning from the combination of text and moving image. We welcome: Collaborations between video artists and writers; video by poets creating video from, or as, their writing; video artists creating poetic meaning through visual or aural text; and beyond. Any poems used for adaptations of pre-existing poetry must be in the public domain or else used with written consent of the author.

• Wild Card: Video work that’s poetically informed or poetry that’s visually informed that doesn’t neatly fit into the video poetry category.

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

Banner Image: "Black Paint" (dir. Hanan Diriye)

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

Each selected video poem will receive an artist fee.

Video poems will be eligible for awards within categories to be determined by the jury.

Award winners will be announced at the April screenings.

Jury members:
Fatma Belkis, Interdisciplinary artist
Kamila Kuc, Filmmaker & Scholar
Livia Lima, Writer, Editor & Curator of Travessias—Brazilian Film Festival
Michael V. Smith, Filmmaker & Professor at University of British Columbia

Submission deadline: February 5

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. While we tend to encourage submissions under 5 minutes including credits, we are always open to considering longer works, including features. If it's living at the intersection of poetry and moving image, send it our way!

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 March 15, 2023.

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. 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
  • Great festival! Diverse programming featuring challenging and cutting-edge work across a wide range of styles. Very well organised and the hybrid model with on-line streaming works a treat for those who cannot be at the festival in person. I was delighted to be a part of it again this year.

    April 2024

    Cadence is a brilliant festive that upends boundaries between literary and film arts, tunneling new dimensions into the creative realm. Cadence makes way for genre-defiant, imaginative experiments with video, poetry, lyrical essay-like, or song-like or manifesto-like renderings... Festival Directors Rana San and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke are inspired and thoughtful programmers whose hospitality transforms an event into a community. Such an honor to have work included in Cadence and I highly recommend submitting work especially if you and your work operate outside conventional genres, boxes, thinking. I love this festival. The world is made better by Cadence. Thank you, Rana and Chelsea!

    January 2024
  • I am so glad my work was chosen to screen at this festival! I took the chance to go and see all of the programs, and I left each screening feeling so inspired. It was a beautiful community of supportive, multi-hyphenate creatives brought together by two really incredible festival directors. Thank you for the experience. I hope to be back!

    May 2023
  • Zoe Meager

    Being part of Cadence was an exceptional experience. I felt very welcomed and all communications were clear. The organisers went out of their way to ensure that all the small details were perfectly fine-tuned, and they provided us with a wealth of support. I was disappointed not to be able to join in the online catch-up, but that was only due to timezone issues and totally beyond their control! The quality and variety of the films was fascinating and really inspiring, and I'll definitely aim to be part of this festival again in future.

    May 2023
  • Lin Li

    Cadence Video Poetry Festival is a wonderful and well organized festival that celebrates the alchemy of combining words with images. This was the first time I took part in the festival. The hybrid format meant that people who could not attend the festival in person (as in my case) could still watch the videos online. The communication by Rana San and Chelsea Werner-Jatzke was friendly, efficient and encouraging. I feel honoured and grateful to have my work shown and selected for an award at the festival.

    May 2023