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 supported within the framework of "Neustart Kultur" of the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media by the Deutscher Literaturfonds e.V. and with the kind support of the Goethe-Institut, Alfred Ritter GmbH & Co. KG and interfilm Berlin.

In 2022, 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 2021. 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.

Open Call for film adaptations of the festival poem

In addition to the international competition and the ZEBRINO competition, we also invite submissions based on this year's festival poem, ANDERKATT by poet Georg Leß. The poem can be found in text, in audio recordings, and in translation at lyrikline.org. This poem is only to be used and filmed as part of this call for submissions.

This special prize (which will not provide prize money) will be awarded in addition to the main prizes. We will invite the three best film adaptations’ directors to Berlin, where they will be able to present their films and speak with the poet.

Travel and accommodation in Berlin for the three selected directors will be paid for by the Festival.

The 2022 Festival Poem is ANDERKATT, by the poet Georg Leß. The poem in text, recording, and in translation is provided by lyrikline.org, the expansive online poetry archive.

The link to the Festival Poem can be found here:
https://www.lyrikline.org/en/poems/anderkatt-15138

(The Festival Poem may only be used for filming associated with this call for submissions. For any further use at other festivals and platforms, filmmakers must first clear the rights with the rights holders.)

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 completed after 31 December 2020. 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 August 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 (1.8.2022) 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.

4. 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 director 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.

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 which are not in English 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 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.

Overall Rating
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  • Marco Espirito Santo

    Super proud to have screened our short "Together" at the Zebra Poetry FF! Well organized and with a friendly and dedicated team, the festival is at the very front line of poetry films in the world. Definitely recommend it.

    November 2022
  • Jane Glennie

    Excellent festival. Fantastic venue at the KulturBrauerei. Wide ranging programme of films and poetry. A great honour to be selected and to take part in the event. Thank you to all the organisers and behind the scenes people who made this event happen.

    November 2022
  • Helene Moltke-Leth

    I love this festival. The Zebra Poetry Film Festival is in the forefront in terms of film-art and what is important matters in life. It is indescribably good! One's perspectives become really stimulated and I get inspired, moved, and feels the essentials in life itself and our times. The festival is well-organized, and I am so proud that my films ‘I c’, ‘Running Through Life’ and ‘Beyond Words’ have been selected and have been part of Zebra Poetry Film Festival’s program over the years. Thanks!

    November 2022
  • Philippe Talavera

    I sadly couldn't come to the festival - tickets to Germany are too expensive - but the festival was great at communicating, sharing information, program and update. I wish I could have joined, as it sounds like a fantastic festival, but I am very glad my short spoken words films could be screened. Highly recommended!

    November 2022
  • Anzhela Schuster

    I take part in the festival not the first year and very pleased :). Recommend!

    November 2022