Lucy and I had an enjoyable but difficult time judging the poetry films at Newlyn PZ Film Festival 2020 www.newlynfilmfestival.com (now rescheduled for next year). But well done to all who entered, the eleven finalists and the prize winners, who are justly deserved. A particular mention goes to: Dave Richardson for Sinkhole and Adrian B. Earle (ThinkWriteFly) for BoyShapedSpace, for joint first-place winners. Each of these films addresses different experiences of losing (readjusting to a father with Alzheimer’s) and loss (the death of a son and friend), in such moving and affecting ways.
The filmic interpretation of Canadian poet Doyali Islam’s thought-provoking poem ‘Water for Canaries’ won second prize with evocative and mesmerising hand-cut stencil animations (such delicate and beautiful birds) by director Suzie Hanna. It is a meditation on a photograph taken during a ceasefire after the bombing of the city Beit Hanoun in 2014, where the fragility of life remains poignant amidst the destruction. In Fugitive Creatures, third prize winner Meriel Lland has expanded on her ethos of biophilia (embracing a connection with other species), linking the point of view of an elderly man, and the power of nature to sustain him through his journey in life. Lland quotes the spiritual teacher Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Real change will only happen when we fall in love with our planet. We cannot “be” by ourselves but as “interbeings” with all that is.’ In short, to connect with and appreciate the natural world will change us, too.
Please go to Liberated Words for further details and links to the films.