Winners of the Weimar Poetry Film Award 2016-2021

We recall some of the artistic highlights of six festival years with the previous Weimar Poetry Film Competitions’ winning films.

What about the law

Animation: Charles Badenhorst

Text: Adam Small

South Africa 2014, 3:14

2016 - Jury Award Best Poetry Film

This film is part of a series of short films of classical Afrikaans poems. This poem is an iconic work condemning segregation laws under Apartheid South Africa. It tells a story of a white woman who falls in love with a coloured man. It is a conversation between the woman, the man and the community about how the law is killing their love and ultimately takes their lives.

Steel and Air

Direction: Chris and Nick Libbey

Text: John Ashbery

USA 2015, 3:34

2016 - Audience Award

This film aims to capture and enhance Ashbery’s poem by chronicling a man’s journey through life and the wonderful, boring, and ultimately finite experiences that come with it. And then it got very cool.

Standard Time

Direction: Hanna Slak and Lena Reinhold

Text: Daniela Seel

Germany 2017, 3:00 min

2017 - Jury Award

A short experimental film based on a poem by Daniela Seel which plays with different layers of sound, image and meaning.


Direction: Dave Tynan

Text: Emmet Kirwan

Ireland 2017, 6:51 min

2017 - Special Mention

“Heartbreak”, written by Emmet Kirwan and directed by Dave Tynan, tells the story of a young schoolgirl (Jordanne Jones) from her teenage pregnancy to raising her son in modern Ireland.

The last time

Direction and Text: Christine Hooper

GB 2016, 3:50 min

2017 - Audience Award

One woman’s struggle to stub out love’s flame.

The Desktop Metaphor

Direction: Helmie Stil

Text: Caleb Parkin

GB 2017, 2:48 min

2018 - Jury Award

“The Desktop Metaphor” is a film by Helmie Stil of Caleb Parkin’s second placed poem in the National Poetry Competition 2016. An isolation of life, scanning through it.

Blue Flash Flash

Direction: Jane Glennie

Text: Julia Bird

GB 2017, 0:39 min

2018 - Special Mention

“Blue Flash Flash” describes the moment in a child’s life in which they learn a new word – octopus – and their neurons act to lock down the knowledge forever. From minuscule beginnings, the acquisition of a language is fundamental to our identity. Language gives us words in our minds and describes who we are to ourselves. It is the facade in our interactions with each other.

Patata Day

Direction: Peter Böving

Text: Marie Nimier

Germany 2016, 4:05 min

2018 - Audience Award

This cinematic parable tells the story of five people in a diner who spin a yarn about potato dishes. In the next scene, funnily animated potatoes appear. The audience cheerfully follows the film but understands that a highly topical issue is served with the potatoes on the plate.


Regie: Vivian Ostrovsky

Text: Claire Lispector (1920–1977)

Brazil 2018, 6:20 min

2019 - Jury Award - Best Video

The protagonist of this film is the reclusive, introspective Ukrainian-Brazilian writer Clarice Lispector. It is based on a single TV interview broadcast only after her death. What she says in the 1977 interview is still very pertinent and corresponds to a feeling of ,in-betweenness’ which I myself feel today.

The right to fall apart

Animation: Rika Tarigan

Text: Yara M. Ahmed

Germany / Egypt 2019, 3 min

2019 - Jury Award - Best Animation

“The Right to Fall Apart” is an experimental short film that seeks to depict the labors of a body burdened with depression and worry. It explores how we navigate through the severity of emotional and mental restlessness. Stressed by intensity, the protagonist tries to escape into a fictional oasis of words, language and images.

Hate for sale

Animation: Anna Eijsbouts

Text: Neil Gaiman

Netherlands 2017, 2:39 min

2019 - Special Mention

A stop-motion animated film about the world we live in. A world in which we consume hate as much as we are consumed by it. This film examines the alluring and tempting qualities of this devouring emotion and why we keep buying into it.

The Opened Field

Direction: Helmie Stil

Text: Dom Bury

GB 2018, 4:15 min

2019 - Audience Award

“The Opened Field” is a film interpretation by Helmie Stil of Dom Burys same-titled Poem. The short film surrounds six boys in a field enacting a disturbing coming-of-age ritual. The poem covers themes of unchecked masculinity, exploring our destructive relationship with each other and with the natural world.

Fine China

Director: David Gaines, Ruby Johnston

Author: David Gaines

USA 2020, 3:25 min

2020 - Jury Award - Best Video

​A man looks at his grandmother’s fine china cabinet and reflects on his patriarchal influences.

Subconscious Notes / Notizen aus dem Unterbewusstsein

Animator & Author: Susann Arnold

Germany 2018, 3:37 min

2020 - Jury Award – Best Animation

A film about the inner life of the East German „Wendegeneration“ -the children that experienced 30 years ago the german reunion in 1990- the lack of a safe past, which tells of constantly renewing breaks and the search for one‘s own place in the world.

der und die

Animator: Peter Böving

Author: Ernst Jandl

Germany 2019, 9:35 min

2020 - Audience Award

A love poem by Ernst Jandl is the basis for a musical `Tête-à-tête` between a woman from Dresden and a Martian. Quickly, a roaring love scene in a rental car, which ends in complete chaos caused by a violent Monday demonstration

In the Bags of Strangers

Director: Raaed Al kour

Germany 2020, 08:35 min

2021 - Jury Award – Best Video 2021

A Syrian poet lives in Exil and writes Poems in order to show support to the Revolution in his country as well as the reflection of the Revolution in his written literature.

Verse von der Winterkampagne des Jahres 1980 (Verses on the Winter Campaign 1980 )

Directors: Rene Reinhardt & Thadeusz Tischbein

Text: Joseph Brodsky

Germany 2021, 05:36 min

2021 - Jury Award – Best Animation

The excerpt from a poem by the Russian-American Nobel laureate Joseph Brodsky captures the Soviet empire of the 1980s. It’s a metaphorical reckoning with a technocratic regime and a nightmarish illustration of war.


Director & Author: Eduardo Brito

Portugal 2020, 06:15 min

2021 - Jury Special Mention

Between the northernmost city in the world, on a long polar night, and a foggy summer morning in the south, a dream, with all of its doubts, takes place.

The posh mums are boxing in the square

Director: Helmie Stil

Author: Wayne Holloway-Smith

United Kingdom 2021, 02:52 min

2021 - Audience Award

A short underwater film poem about a mother reimagined into life and given boxing gloves to fight off cancer. The film is based on the poem by Wayne Holloway-Smith.