This international Poetry Film festival organized by JÁ International Theatre is part of the JÁ FEST 2023 festival of European storytelling and Theatre in Lisbon and supported by a Europa Creativa program. Selected entries will be part of a screening at the Casa Fernando Pessoa and Cossoul, Lisbon, Portugal during the week of 11 – 16 April 2023.
It is open to
The festival welcomes poetry film submissions from both emerging and veteran artists, videographers, filmmakers and poets in two competitive sections each defined by a distinct theme:
We especially welcome entries from emerging artists and first-time poetry filmmakers wishing to premiere their poetry films at this festival, in front of an international audience!

In our turbulent world 'Separation and Belonging' raises the question of where and to whom we belong. To ourselves, perhaps? To nature, to memories, to family, to love, to dreams fulfilled and unfulfilled? Until we parted we did not know we could feel so strongly, we did not know that our good memories could shrivel and vanish, that we may no longer find comfort in them. Through separation we learn a lot about ourselves and our world, don’t we?
The theme can be interpreted in an endless variety of ways and should be regarded as a prompt from which to riff off, for filmmakers. A submission in this section should be a film based on a poem (one's own or otherwise) that the filmmaker believes engage with this theme.
Inspirations and poems can come from any time period, or can be your own vers libre.

“Quem tem alma não tem calma” [F. Pessoa] (“A person with soul cannot attain calm”) 

Now more than ever, we live in an age of disquiet where reality changes its shades with every fleeting moment and time itself feels out of joint. Fernando Pessoa captured the inchoate sense of restlessness that pervades our present and tinges our visions of the future with twinned brushstrokes of both hope and despair. At the quivering edge of our fragile present, Fernando Pessoa's verse and contemplations on disquiet speaks to us and the tatterdemalion nature of our fractured stories. Pessoa had a keen interest in films and filmmaking and in fact ended up producing 6 screenplays and founding a film company called Ecce Films.
It is perhaps, therefore fitting that in this section, we invite filmmakers inspired by Pessoa’s works to honour his legacy by submitting a poetry film based on one of his poems or quotations.

For more details see our website:

The JÁ International Poetry Film Festival will award a total of 5 prizes , each comprised of a certificate and a monetary reward:
1. “Separation & Belonging“
- Best Film- €750
-2nd Prize - €400
- Special Mention- €300
2. “Disquiet! Said Pessoa, Desassossego com Fernando Pessoa“
- Best Film- €750
- Special Mention- €400

Poetry film submissions can be entered under either or both of 2 thematic competitive sections:
We invite submissions from all over the world. Inspirations for poetry film may be drawn from any period!
Submission parameters:
(1).Entries may be no longer than seven minutes with opening or closing credits included.
(2).Entries may be brand-new or pre-existing work, or a repurposed combination of these two.
(3).Entries can be in any language but must be subtitled in English, with voiceover or text on-screen. In the case of Fernando Pessoa’s work filmmakers may wish to use translations by Richard Zenith.
(4).The poetry can be your own, or a collaboration with a poet, or used by permission of the poet or poets’ estate, or that is no longer subject to copyright.
(5).All submissions must include opening or closing credits on the screen.
(6) Deadlines for submission: March 12th 2023 for Category I and April 1st 2023 for Caregory II.
We have tried to recognize the financial burdens many creators are facing and the challenges faced by the global south. Accordingly, entry fees vary depending on what country you come from. 
For filmmakers based in countries with a GDP (PPP) per capita figure of 20,000 or more, the entry fee is €20 per submission.
For filmmakers based in countries with a GDP (PPP) per capita figure of less than 20,000 the entry fee is €10 per submission.
To consult your country’s GDP figure, see IMF figures from Wikipedia page (link provided on the payment page given below.
HOW TO PAY: On the payment page ( you can buy a submission voucher for either €20 or €10, as applicable for your submission. You will receive a payment reference after your purchase which must be mentioned while submitting your poetry film submission file.
Each filmmaking team can submit up to three entries
Each entry must be submitted separately.
Each entry can be submitted to only one competition section

HOW TO SUBMIT: We accept only digital submissions for this event i.e. you can send us your poetry film file either as an e-mail attachment, or via a file transfer service.
The submission mail address is
Your submission package must include the following details:
1.) Payment reference received on purchase of a submission voucher
2.) Name of submitting artist/team
3.) Short description (<400 words) of the poetry film.
4.) The poem behind the film (either as text or a link to where the text is available online) with the poet's name.
Entries received will be processed by a 3-person JÁFEST 2023 selection committee.
Entries will be judged by a 3-person expert jury chaired by accomplished poet and filmmaker Janet Lees.
Artists whose entries have been selected for both sections will be notified and contacted individually.
The winners will be announced by the jury after a screening event at Casa Fernando Pessoa in Lisbon before a live audience during the JÁFEST week of April 11-16. Winners in each category may be asked to join us at the screening and a subsequent live/online hybrid Q&A session. The screening event will be a delightful opportunity for poetry filmmakers to meet fellow artists and sample their work and hopefully be a fertile environment for new creative synergies and ideas. We hope to see as many poetry filmmakers as possible in person at the event in Lisbon
Legal Notification:
Entering a submission into this festival automatically implies that the submitting party accepts thefollowing stipulations:
1.) Ensuring the intellectual property legitimacy and clearing all copyrights relevant to every aspect of each submission to this festival is the sole responsibility of the party making the submission.
2.) On selection, JÁ International Theatre, the organizers of this event have the submitter's free and willing permission to screen their entry as part of the festival and to use parts of their entry for promotional material related to dissemination of the festival.

Overall Rating
  • It was a really cool first experience for me being part of JÁ! The communication is efficient and nice.

    August 2023
  • David Ellis

    I was honored to have my short experimental "poetry film"
    Long Departure selected for the festival. Thank You! Your communications were great and I wish I could have been there for the festival. There should be more film fests like yours for filmmakers who see/create their films as visual poetry as I do. Please continue your fantastic work! - David Ellis, Pézenas, France

    August 2023
  • Kelly Xintaris

    Thank you for the excellent communication and for including online screenings as well. This was a beautiful, innovative festival and I enjoyed the entire experience.

    May 2023
  • P Boeckel

    Was great to work with the festival

    May 2023
  • Pat Boran

    Many thanks for your interest and support

    April 2023