Submissions are now CLÓSED

(1st May – 31st August 2021)
(scroll down for guidelines & history)

The 2021 shortlist is available via this link.

2021 is Ó Bhéal’s twelfth year screening International poetry-films.

The Judges for 2021 are Paula Kehoe and Paul Casey

Submission Guidelines for 2021

Submissions are open from 1st May – 31st August 2021. Entries made outside of these dates cannot be considered. You may submit as many films as you like – each must interpret or convey a poem (present in its entirety, audibly and/or visually) and have been completed after the 1st of May 2019.

Entries may not exceed 10 minutes in duration. Non-English or non-Irish language films will require English subtitles.

The shortlist will be announced during October 2021 and one overall winner will receive the Ó Bhéal award for best poetry-film. Shortlisted films will be screened (and the winner announced) at the 9th Winter Warmer poetry festival (26th-28th Nov 2021).

Entry is free to anyone, and should be made via email to poetryfilm [at] – including the following info in an attached word document:

  • Name and duration of Film
  • Month & Year completed
  • Name of Director
  • Country of origin
  • Contact details
  • Name of Poet
  • Name of Poem
  • Synopsis
  • Filmmaker biography
  • and a Link to download a high-resolution version of the film.**
  • ** If you are sending a vimeo or youtube link, etc, please ensure that the download button is enabled. All films not shortlisted by the judges are permanently deleted directly after the adjudication process.

Best of Luck!

Shortlisted films to date have also featured in Ó Bhéal’s poetry-film touring programme, at a number of international film and literary festivals, to date including the Clare Island Film Festival, Belfast Film Festival, Stanzas in Limerick, the Cyclops festival in Kiev, Poemaria in Vigo, the Madeira Literary Festival (2018), Salerno Letteratura (2018) and Cadence: Video Poetry Festival in Seattle (2019).

Ó Bhéal’s complete archive of shortlisted entries is screened throughout the year (in random), at the start of each physical Ó Bhéal poetry event (currently on hold while Ó Bhéal’s events are held online).

From 2013-2019, Ó Bhéal’s Poetry-Film competition was part of the IndieCork film festival, with winners awarded the Ó Bhéal/IndieCork prize. We’re very grateful for these seven years of prosperity, an absolute privilege and pleasure to work with Úna Feely, Mick Hannigan and the IndieCork festival committee, sharing a vibrant and invaluable, spirited, enormously beneficial journey. A huge thank you to IndieCork. Ó Bhéal’s decision to meld the competition with its Winter Warmer festival was partly logistical and partly to do with our bespoke submission process.

Previous Shortlists

(most of the poetry films are embedded and viewable)

Poetry-Film Night 2012

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2013

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2014

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2015

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2016

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2017

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2018

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2019

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2020

Poetry-Film Shortlist 2021

Previous Winners

8th International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Dareina Ní Chinnéide and Paul Casey

The complete shortlist, including screenings, synopses and stills is here.

Noho Mai (5:33)

Poem: Noho Mai (Sit Here) by Peta-Maria Tunui

Synopsis – ‘Symbolized in the bird’s flight, a group of Māori, Pākehā and Colombian creatives explore life’s journey, the longing to return to the nest, and the life-giving connection with our ancestors.’

Directors: Peta-Maria Tunui, Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Jesse-Ana Harris, Lilián Pallares, Charles Olsen (New Zealand / Spain)

The Directors’ Biographies are on the shortlist page.

“And so, I was drawn into this beautifully filmed, beautiful soundscape, delivered with a natural ease, the first time I watched all the wonderful poetry films submitted to this competition. The sparse lines of the poem ran along the wind of the film with powerful imagery. Strong but subtle. Neither the text, nor the image in the frame, collided – but fused together. The visual elements I was looking for were right there. The text of the poem was powering the vision in this beautiful language, I could not help but respond warmly to this film. It was a huge challenge to choose one overall winner in such a feast of poetry films, one which shone. This one did it for me. Congratulations all.”

Dairena Ní Chinnéide

“An absolutely stunning film. The finely wrought dance of words, visuals, music, pace and the dreamlike cadences of the Māori language. Noho Mai delivered everything I look for in a poetry film. A moving, beautiful poem and universal, timeless core of meaning which speaks also to our particularly detached and disconnected times. The filmmaking is a testament to the power of collaborative vision, crafted through the generous talents of six visual artists from New Zealand, Colombia and Spain. I would encourage any and all to relish this gleaming and worthy winner. An exquisite poetry film.”

Paul Casey


Click on CC for subtitles

7th International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Colm Scully and Stanley Notte

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Virginia gave me Roses (2:05)

Poem: Virginia gave me Roses by Lani O’Hanlon

Synopsis – A film exploring impermanence, female relationships and the rituals that sustain us in times of sorrow, loss and joy.

Director: Fiona Aryan (Ireland)

Fiona Aryan is an artist and filmmaker who likes to look at the beauty and magic that can be found in everyday life. ‘Going to the Well’, a poetry-film made with poet Lani O’Hanlon was shortlisted for the Ó Bhéal Poetry-Film competition in 2018. She is currently studying for a degree in film and TV production.

“… a soft-focused, memory-like family interaction that supports, compliments and, at the same time, adds weight to an original text that is both moving and strongly visual … transports the viewer into a dreamlike state where one is enveloped by the profound sense of love and safety which being in a close-knit family occasion provides.”

Stan Notte

“… though an awful lot of the entries were beautifully filmed and made, not all of the poems were strong enough to carry their film. Virginia Gave me Roses immediately worked for me on first viewing, and only improved as I watched it again. The beauty of the poem was matched by the subtle imagining of the visual.”

Colm Scully

6th International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Oonagh Kearney and Anamaría Crowe Serrano

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Álvaro Martín
Accident de Personne (3:35)

Poem: Accident de Personne by Álvaro Martín

Synopsis – We create metaphors in order to mention facts we don’t want to talk about.

Director: Alvaro Martin (Spain)

Born in Valladolid, Spain, with a degree in Philosophy by the University of Salamanca, Álvaro Martín is interested in all kinds of art, especially in cinema and literature. In 2011 he created the movie production company Dream Zero Films (, he has directed several film shorts under that brand, like The Adorable Tenant (2013), Stockholm (2013), Disintegration (2014) or Cinema Roxy (2014).

“A thought-provoking, well-structured meditation on what it means to exist and to die by one’s own hand, to feel overwhelmingly alone in a word of endless connectivity. Serious issues are expertly raised in just 3.5 minutes, with deptively simple language.

Oonagh Kearney & Anamaría Crowe Serrano


5th International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Lani O’Hanlon and Shaun O’Connor

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Kayla Jeanson
Descrambled Eggs (4:14)

Poem: Descrambled Eggs by Steve Currie

Synopsis – Poetry, dance, and eggs collide in this short film by Canadian artist Kayla Jeanson. Poet Steve Currie grapples with the origins of his existence and limitations of his corporeality.

Director: Kayla Jeanson (Canada)

Kayla Jeanson is a Winnipeg-based filmmaker who specializes in producing screendance and work on the edge of documentary. A producer/director for her company Parachute Media Lab, she has developed a wide range of work including broadcast and commercial web video. She is also a trained contemporary dancer and choreographer.

For more about Kayla, visit


“The standard across the board with the poetry films was incredibly high and we had a genuinely tough time making the final selection. There were lots of submissions with amazing visuals, but their respective poems were not crafted, featured tired language or had polemic and a tendency to preach. Others had well-crafted poetry but the film did not work with the poem. There were some very special ones where both poem and film were well crafted, edited, and worked together — and from these it was very hard to choose just one.

Kayla Jeanson’s Descrambled Eggs took both mediums into account and tells a bold, original, engaging and funny story. It’s a really entertaining piece and there are many small touches that demonstrate that the creators really put thought into the visuals and delivery of the poem while they were planning and shooting it. The poetry-film competition is about both mediums working together. With that in mind, the winner has made a huge effort to be a thoroughly cohesive piece with choreography, timing in camera, locations, props, performances etc.”

Lani O’Hanlon & Shaun O’Connor


4th International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Kathy D’Arcy and Rossa Mullin

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Marie Craven
Dictionary Illustrations (2:13)

Poem: Dictionary Illustrations by Sarah Sloat

Synopsis – Searching for a word, I set off browsing the dictionary illustrations.

Director: Marie Craven (Australia)

Marie Craven assembles short videos from poetry, music, voice and moving images by various artists around the world. Created via the internet, the pieces are collaborative in a way that belongs to the 21st century. Social networking and open media licensing are key to the process. Since 2014, Marie has put together many video poems, most often in association with The Poetry Storehouse and Pool creative group.

She has also collaborated for several years as a vocalist with electronic musicians globally, also via the internet. During the 1990s and early 2000s she wrote and directed short narrative and experimental films that were screened and awarded widely at international film festivals. Her earliest involvement in media was in the mid-1980s with super 8 film-making in Melbourne. For more about Marie, visit

“Dictionary Illustrations was a perfect film poem because, remembering it, we can’t distinguish which parts were the words, which the images, which the sounds: each element harmonised perfectly with the others to create one discrete artwork. This effect is so rare, and so rewarding.”

Kathy D’Arcy & Rossa Mullin


3rd International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Patrick Cotter and Padraig Trehy

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Cheryl GrossIn The Circus Of You (6:07)

Poem: In the Circus of You by Nicelle Davis

Synopsis – a visceral spectacle of controlled excess; it dismantles the three rings we use to contain our most domestic horrors and shows us the way through vulnerability to release. Nicelle Davis’s poetry mythologizes pain, makes grief, anger, disgust, and fear bearable by transforming them into finely wrought poems. These poems are filled with sharp edges, dissections, illusions, and images of flight; both in their language and in the ways they occupy the page. They are perfectly matched by the animation and drawings of Cheryl Gross, who translates Davis’s poetry into an equally grotesque, equally eloquent visual language.

Director: Cheryl Gross (U.S.A.)

Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Cheryl Gross is an illustrator and motion graphic artist living and working in the New York area. She is a professor at Pratt Institute and Bloomfield College.

I equate my work with creating and building an environment, transforming my inner thoughts into reality. Beginning with the physical process, I work in layers. I am involved in solving visual and verbal complexities such as design and narrative. My urban influence has indeed added an ‘edge’ to my work.” Many have compared Cheryl’s work to “Dr. Seuss on crack.

“Too many poetry films apply great cinematography to bad poetry and sometimes great poetry is left down by less than fully committed visuals. Here is a poetry film where the aesthetic accomplishment and craftmanship of the cinematography and the poetry are equal. Gross’s animation remains faithful to Davis’s text while not compromising its own ambition. Gross has demonstrated great taste and discernment in investing her talent as a cinematographer in poems which demand your attention with captivating subject matter and their awareness of language as a musical medium.”

Patrick Cotter & Padraig Trehy


2nd International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Stephen O’Riordan, Rosie O’Regan, Paul Casey and Rab Urquhart

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Marleen van der WerfWadland (9:19)

Poem: Wadland by Marleen van der Werf

SynopsisWadland is a poetic wildlife documentary about the life in the sand of a tidal plain, and the search for a lost childhood memory.

Director: Marleen van der Werf (Netherlands)

After finishing her Masters in Biology and Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, Marleen van der Werf specialized in filming nature.

For more about Marleen, visit

“A sensitive and poignant study of an ecosystem by a filmmaker whose knowledge and appreciation of the subject matter shines in each finely crafted shot.” – Stephen O’Riordan

“Wadland invites us into a liminal landscape, to experience that intimate place where sea meets sand, where the strength and fragility of living is inhabited and washed away in tidal cycles. The imagery, beautifully captured is poetic in it’s own right, while the poem is heart felt and intelligent. Wadland is a true marriage of poetry and film.” – Rosie O’Regan

“Wadland comes pretty close to being a perfect poetry film.” – Rab Urquhart

“Exploring the metaphor of tidal-land sea-life as symbolic of our own lives, is both frightening and enlightening, and this delicate subject matter has been treated beautifully here. The balance between poem, image and music in Wadland is terrific and absolutely captivating. It does the best of what both poetry and film can do – it takes you somewhere new, within yourself.” –
Paul Casey


1st International Poetry Film Competition Results

Judges: Ó Bhéal Panel

The complete shortlist with embedded films, synopses and stills is here.

Manuel VilarinhoNo País Dos Sacanas (In the Land of Bastards) (3:50)

Poem: No País Dos Sacanas (In the Land of Bastards) by Manuel Vilarinho

SynopsisNo País Dos Sacanas (In the Land of Bastards): To be a crook and a half in the country of crooks? No, since everyone is, at least two.

Actor José Moreira and Director Manuel Vilarinho (Portugal)

Born in 1974, Manuel is a graduate in Tecnologia da Comunicação Audiovisual by IPP, Instituto Politecnico do Porto, in 2004. He directed several video clips for the music band, Fat Freddy during 2000 and 2003. In 2001 he won the FESTIVIDEO FILM FESTIVAL and the First Prize and Public award on OVAR VIDEO FILM FESTIVAL, with the short cut, LADROES. In 2004 he won the TAKE ONE prize at the International Video Festival of Vila de Conde, with AGUENTA, RAPAZ. During 2007 and 2011 he edited several TV programs. Manuel has worked at TVI, Independent Television in Portugal, since 2001.