The Institute for Experimental Arts proudly announces that our production “What I fear most is becoming a poet” has won Ó Bhéal’s 9th International Poetry-Film Competition
This amazing film is directed by world known video poetry director Janet Lees based on a poem by Katerina Gogou as a part of our program for the international promotion of Greek poetry in collaboration with international film directors.
30 films were chosen from 184 submissions received from 122 filmmakers in 32 countries. The 2021 shortlist represents 13 countries: Canada, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Perú, Romania, Spain, Sweden, The Netherlands, UK and the USA.
This year’s judges Paula Kehoe and Paul Casey, selected one winner to receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film, designed by glass artist Michael Ray. The winner was announced directly after the shortlist screenings at Ó Bhéal’s 2021 Winter Warmer festival.
Our warm congratulations to Janet Lees from The Isle of Man, for her winning entry:
What I fear most is becoming “a poet”.
The judges’ comments about the film:
There were so many beautiful filmpoems entered into the competition, I loved watching every single one of them, and appreciated all of the work, imagination and innovation that went into making them. In the end, the piece called What I fear most is becoming a poet stood out as a stunning example of filmpoetry as a unique art form. Janet Lees has created a powerful visual rendering of Katerina Gogou’s poem. I was both floored and inspired by it. Comhghairdeas ó chroí! – Paula Kehoe
What I fear most is becoming “a poet” is such an evocative and moving piece. Katerina Gogou’s poem, enormous in itself which speaks so intimately about the poet’s world of peril and uncertainty, met with this filigreed balance of soft pianissimo and perfectly-paced typography, the haunting, completely captivating visuals, the almost hesitant text (in places), and the very absence of voice bringing us so much closer to the poet’s inner sanctum… all just fantastically done. A highly worthy winner. – Paul Casey
YOU CAN WATCH THE FILM HERE:
What I fear most is becoming a ‘poet’ – Katerina Gogou (GR)- Janet Lees (UK)
Filmmaker: Janet Lees
Poet: Katerina Gogou
Translator: G. Chalkiadakis
For me this poem resounds with the psychological distress Katerina experienced as a result of experiencing and bearing witness to collective trauma. Despair and loneliness hover over every line, but there is also a core of steel in the shape of her unwavering conviction and commitment to the cause and to her people. To bring this great poem to life as a poetry film, I drew on my own urban images and footage. In animating the stills, I used the recurring motif of fire and smoke to indicate rebellion and oppression/passion and despair. I worked with the composer/musician Tromlhie to bring out the poem’s emotional journey in musical form and to complement the poem’s slow build – layer upon layer of the fear of ‘becoming “a poet”’.