The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has been around since 2002. It was the first and is the largest international platform for short films based on poetry - the poetry films. Every year, it offers poets, film and festival makers from all over the world a platform for creative exchange, brainstorming and meeting with a broad audience. With a competition, film programmes, poetry readings, retrospectives, exhibitions, performances, workshops, colloquia, lectures and a children's program, it presents in various sections the diversity of the genre of poetry film.

In 2022, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is inviting entries for the international competition to find the best poetry films! Eligible for entry are short films produced in or after 2021, which are based on poems and are no more than 15 minutes in duration. All languages are allowed. The competition winners will be awarded prize money.

A programme committee will select films for the International Competition and for all the other festival programmes from among the entries. The winning films will be chosen by a jury comprising representatives from the worlds of poetry, film and media.

In addition, ZEBRA is inviting filmmakers to submit a film interpretation of this year’s festival poem “The Haircut” by the poet Georg Leß. Text and audio of the poem together with translations come from, a leading online archive for poetry. The directors of the three best film interpretations will be chosen by the programme committee and invited to come to Berlin where they will have the opportunity to present their films at the festival and discuss them with the poet. Link to the festival poem: (The festival poem may be used only for the purpose of film interpretation within the scope of this call for entries. For any other use at other festivals or on other platforms, etc. the film makers must obtain the rights from the rights holders.)

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is hosted by the Haus für Poesie in cooperation with Urania Berlin.
It is sponsored by funding from the Land Berlin / the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe and from the Federal Foreign Office, and gratefully acknowledges the kind support of the Goethe-Institut, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co KG and interfilm Berlin.

Organiser and promoter of the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is the Haus für Poesie.

Eligible for entry are international films which are no more than 15 minutes in duration and were completed after 31 December 2020. All films submitted for entry must be audio-visual versions of one or more poems. All languages are allowed.

Closing date for entries is 1 June 2022. Entries must include: film file (MP4 or MOV), a completed entry form, German or English translation of the poem(s) with indication of the source, published by title and publisher and, if available, the name of the translator(s). (PDF, Word), a digital film still (JPEG or TIFF, HiRes Foto), very brief content summary of max. 200 characters incl. spaces (Log Line), biography (poet), biography and filmography (director). All texts must be provided in digital form. Pay attention to the exact formatting of poems (upper/lower case, stanzas, line breaks etc.) The film file (MP4 or MOV) must arrive at the festival for preview by no later than the closing date (1.6.2022) and will be retained for archiving. All submitted films which comply with the rules will automatically be considered for selection for the competition and the various programmes.

A programme committee will select the films for the International Competition and the competition for the film interpretation of the Festival Poem. It will also recommend to the festival directors films which could be shown in other programmes in the festival. A jury comprising representatives from the worlds of poetry, film and media will decide on the award of the principal prizes. Persons involved in the production and utilisation of any competition entry may not be members of the jury.

The festival reserves the right to show films which are longer than 15 minutes. The permitted screening format is (in 2k or 4k, Flat or Scope) DCP. Only the films on the screening copies which are not in English must have English subtitles.

The jury’s decision will be by simple majority. The jury’s will hold its deliberations and voting in camera and its members are obliged to secrecy.

Prize money will be given to the directors by bank transfer.

All entrants will be informed by email by 1 September 2022 of the results of the selection viewing. Please make sure that your email address is stated correctly and legibly. No enquiries will be answered about the selection process before that date. No film may be withdrawn from the competition programme once its participation from 1 September 2022 has been confirmed by the festival. The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will be taking place from 13 to 16 October 2022 in Berlin.

Overall Rating
  • The invitation to attend with my festival poem film EKPHRASES was a real thrill - the organization of ZEBRA is of such high standard, and its various film programs a truly enriching experience online and off a highlight. Thanks!

    December 2021
  • Aavirash Mitra

    We had a lovely experince at the Zebra Poetry Film Festival. Some of the best entries on Poetry Films I have ever seen, and the communication with the Festival, top to bottom, was great and enjoyable. We wholeheartedly recommend.

    December 2021
  • A great festival with a real passion for both poetry and visual art. A very nice atmosphere and a professional team. All my compliments!

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much, Gabriele Nugara! It was a pleasure to welcome you at the festival. Your ZEBRA Team

  • The perfect place that showcases films and poetry all tied in one.

    December 2021
    Response from festival:

    Thank you very much and congratulation!
    All the best
    Your ZEBRA Team

  • Ben Jackson

    ZEBRA was very communicative and welcoming right from the start. It was great to be able to attend this event in person and to answer some questions about the film on stage after it had been screened. The whole event seems exceptionally well organised. We will definitely be entering future poetry films to ZEBRA.

    December 2021