Poetry film flourishing in SA: Filmverse II screening

Poetry has always had some influence on film and art. The production of poetry films is not a new practice, but over the last decade it has developed substantially and has become a genre. Poetry film or video poems as a genre is, almost by its definition, more academic and artistic, because of the materials used create them.

Filmverse II, the second presentation of the poetry-animation project of the ATKV in collaboration with creative director Diek Grobler, screened twice during Thinkfest. Twelve Afrikaans poems were animated by 12 animation artists, or groups of artists, then also translated, and the soundtracks of the animated films were dubbed into English, Zulu and Sesotho.

According to Grobler, as with Filmverse two year’s back, the aim of this project is to create a forum for independent animation in South Africa; to make Afrikaans poetry more visible and accessible; and to create animation films of international standard. The aim was also to present a wide sceptrum of techniques and animination styles.

“Another aim was to make people aware of animation as an art form and not just entertainment.”

The premiere of Filmverse 2, was launched at last year’s kykNET Silwerskermfees in Camps Bay, Cape Town. Diek Grobler is the creative director and the executive producer for the ATKV is Nita Cronjé.

The 2014 version of Filmverse did not only satisfy these requirements, but was locally nominated on three arts festivals in the category “best contribution to visual art”. On international level this first project also excelled. At the 2016 Annecy International Animated Film Festival, the biggest one in the world, Noami van Niekerk, one of the animators, received an award for the “best first film” for animation of Ronelda Kamfer’s ʼn Gewone blou Maandagoggend. Van Niekerk also worked as an animinator in The Alchemy of Words, a theatre piece performed at the Festival.

Charles Badenhorst was the winner of the Weimar Poetry Film Prize in Germany for his animation of Adam Small’s What abou’ de lô, and for this same animation also received a Special Jury Award at the Festival Silêncio in Portugal. Furthermore, animations from Filmverse  were also shown at animation festivals in Russia, the Netherlands, France and Portugal.

Filmverse II trialer:

The Filmverse 2 DVD costs R120 and can be ordered from Hannelie van Schalkwyk  hanneliev@atkv.org.za

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