This film festival is about bringing together poetry and the visual arts at the intersection of film. Anyone can make a video of a poet reading a poem, but that’s not what Rabbit Heart is all about. What we’re looking for is what can be done visually with a poem, without showing performance. The poem can be the soundtrack, and the springboard for what happens visually – show, don’t tell is the rule.
Rabbit Heart will be awarding prizes at the viewing party in October! Best Overall Picture will win $200, and there will be $100 prizes in categories for Best Animation, Best Music in a Video, Best Phone/ Smartphone Production, Best Under 1 Minute, and Best Valentine. And some really good trophies, too!
Do keep in mind that your film can win honors, even in categories which you may not have entered it - we've seen spectacular work that was entered in the Best Sound or Music category, only to win in the Best Valentine (and Best Overall to Boot!) You only need to enter in one category to be eligible for winnings in another category too. All the short-listed films are automatically eligible for the Best Overall Production prize as well. So if you're not sure which category to enter your film into, just check off the Best Overall Production for your submission.
1. We’re not looking for performance videos. Your entry will not be a performance video. There will not be a poet poetizing at an audience or at the camera. There will be no lip synching by the poet. We know you’ve got good performance chops, we know you can wreck a room when you get up on the stage, but that’s not what this is about – show us, don’t tell us, make the moving pictures give the story. Seriously, this can be super powerful.
2. The work must be the submitter’s original work: the poetry must be by the submitter, and that person should be directly involved in the process of making the video. We want you to make the video, not hire someone else to make it. This is not to say that we think asking for help is a bad thing – we think teaming up is super, actually. Just, you know, respect the spirit of this thing, and don’t buy it, make it. If you’re a filmmaker making a video for a poet, you should submit together as a team. Just make sure the poet has a part in this filmy business other than just handing you the poem, natch.
3. Time length of 4 minutes or less. After that, we stop the film. If you’re entering the Under 1 Minute category, the video should be under a minute, natch.
4. Credit where credit is due, and please respect copyrights. On your submission form please credit everyone who is involved – the poem’s author, the person who held the camera, anyone involved in music you might use, including the sound engineer and producer (if the music is copyrighted, please make sure you have the artists’ permission to use the music. Seriously.) Fill in the form on the Submissions page and follow the instructions for sending your film.
5. Judging is blind, so please do not have any credits on your video outside of the title of the poem. You’ll send all the credit info when you fill out the form.
A quick note on poems in languages other than English: you are absolutely invited to submit your work! Please keep in mind, tho’, that the judging will be by English speakers – subtitles with translation into English will help your poetry film along.
By submitting your film, you give Rabbit Heart Poetry Film Festival permission, _in the event that it wins honors_, to screen your film at the viewing party and awards ceremony on October 20th in Worcester, MA, and other festival-related screenings, permission to archive your film to the Rabbit Heart YouTube channel, and permission to include it in future promotions and maybe even a 2018 festival dvd.