Triptych Filmpoem from "Failed State"

A Triptych filmpoem explores how public poems tailor-made to be displayed in their environments might speak to us when we are carefully attuned.
Three poems from "Failed State" an 80 page haibun collection by poet Dave Bonta are joined together in "A Triptych Filmpoem." A haibun is prose-poem-like, culminating in a haiku. The filmpoem includes "Poem for Display in a Vacant Lot," "Poem for Display in an Abandoned Factory" and "Poem for Display in an Art Museum." This triptych gets its inspiration from early religious icon paintings with three panels hinged together like shutters. The idea was appealing for the film form, especially since the associated haikus act as hinges between each mini-essay. While there are numerous themes included in the film, a common thread is the concept of "placemaking". The idea behind placemaking is our human collective consciousness has the power to reinvent our world based on shared values. The poet created numerous public poems tailor-made to be displayed in their environments and this film considers how these places might speak to us when we are carefully attuned. Filmed in Barcelona, Bulgaria, Cuba, and the United States.

Major themes:
Nature and the Environment
Socio-political climate

From Poet Dave Bonta's Perspective:
I've always regarded public poems a bit warily. They generally have to be short, "accessible" but not prosy, and most difficult of all, in the environments where we most often encounter them—buses and trains—they have to compete for attention with advertising slogans and brands: the slick anti-poetry that permeates our lives. Perhaps for that reason, they can seem rather modular and detached from their surroundings in the same way that advertisements are, designed to take our minds elsewhere rather than focus attention on the here and now. I wondered what public poems might look like if they had instead been tailor-made for their environments.

  • Lori H. Ersolmaz
  • Dave Bonta
  • Lori H. Ersolmaz
  • Lori H. Ersolmaz
    Filmmaker + Editor
  • Rumyana Mihaylova
    Additional Cinematography
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 4, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Anthology Film Archives- New Filmmakers
    United States
    October 4, 2019
    Official Selection
  • Oaxaca Film Festival | FINALIST
    October 5, 2019
    International Premiere
    Official Selection - FINALIST - New Industry
  • Institute for Experimental Arts | 8th Video Poetry Festival
    December 14, 2019
    Official Selection
  • In Absentia by Semiophera, The Wrong Biennale


  • Italy
    December 14, 2019
Director Biography - Lori H. Ersolmaz

Lori Ersolmaz, founder of Voices of Hope Productions is a visual storyteller and multimedia content producer. Lori has diverse experience working with Fortune 200 corporations, nonprofit organizations and policy think-tanks on marketing, communication design and new media initiatives. She is also an Adjunct Professor. Lori advocates for a diverse media culture, rich with collective voices, illuminating stories not often heard in the mainstream media. She is an active social justice, education, health, environment and media reform advocate with a Master of Arts degree in Media Studies and Film from The New School, a university with a history of progressive thought and service to others. Lori uses her diverse skills, experiences and energy to develop multimedia content as a tool for dialogue and engagement.

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Director Statement

A Triptych Filmpoem was a labor of love. Experimental filmpoetry is a satisfying genre because subconscious symbolism bubbles to the surface and is an alchemical process for me. The genre gives me the opportunity to work organically and allows the viewer to decide what emotions and feelings bubble up for them as well.