The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival will issue its next call for an international competition in 2025. In July 2024, for the 25th anniversary of poesiefestival berlin, we will show a ZEBRA special program with highlights from recent years. Once again, we would like to thank everyone who contributed to our wonderful festival in October 2023!

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is a project of the Haus für Poesie and 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 general, short films tell short stories or surprise us with experimental images and sounds. Poetry films, however, deal content-, aesthetic-, and form-wise, with poems. Because of their high mediality, poetry is a cross-section of art, which the film makes use of in order to create trans-media art. The genre-overarching and public-appealing form of poetry film excellently presents the diversity of poetry.

The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is organised by the Haus für Poesie in cooperation with the Kino in der KulturBrauerei. Funded by the State of Berlin /Senate Administration for Culture and Europe and with the kind support of the Goethe-Institut, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and interfilm Berlin.

In 2023, the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival is inviting entries for the International Poetry Film Competition! Eligible for entry are short films, based on poems of no more than 15 minutes duration, produced in or after 2022. All languages are allowed. The competition winners will be awarded prize money. A program committee will select films for the International Competition and for all other festival programs. The winning films will be chosen by a jury composed of representatives from the worlds of poetry, film, and media.

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

2. Eligible for entry are international films which are no more than 15 minutes in duration and were produced in or after 2022. All films submitted for entry must be audio-visual versions of one or more poems. All languages are allowed.

3. Closing date for entries is 1 June 2023. Entries must include: film file (MP4 or MOV), 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 (01.06.2023) 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 programs.

4. A program committee will select the films for the International Competition and recommend to the festival director films which could be shown in other programs 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.

5. 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 must have English subtitles.

6. 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.

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

8. All entrants will be informed by email by 1 September 2023 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 program once its participation from 1 September 2023 has been confirmed by the festival.

Overall Rating
  • Michael Jacob

    Wonderful festival, It was a pleasure having the opportunity to screen "Dawn" at this event

    February 2024
  • We love Zebra Poetry Film Festival. This was our second time and we met many wonderful filmmakers, artists, and organizers. Beautiful selection of short films. Thank you for having us Zebra, wonderful experience!

    November 2023
  • Sarien Zijlstra

    We were very honored that the short film ''Niks'' was selected for the Zebrino festival. We felt very welcome on this great festival. Early in the morning in Berlin a lot of children watched our movie and asked a lot of questions. It is super this festival has a good approach for the public to come! Thanks!

    October 2023
  • Sami Miranda

    Thank you for including our film in the festival! Appreciated the communication and support provided during the process of submitting our film.

    October 2023
  • Gloria Regonesi

    Great festival organised by competent and passionate individuals. I very much appreciated the personal approach, the care they've put in all the details and their efforts in organising readings & workshops alongside the screenings. Weiter so! :)

    October 2023