Ó Bhéal’s 11th International Poetry-Film Competition

Saturday 25th November 2023

11.00am (57.30 mins)
*** FREE & ONLINE ***

While these 16 films and many other excellent entries didn’t quite make the competition shortlist, they are of a fine standard and we are delighted to present them in a separate screening.

These will be screened to a live audience at the 11th Winter Warmer festival, Nano Nagle Place, Cork while being streamed live via our website festival stage, Vimeo, Facebook and YouTube channels.

The films were chosen from 208 submissions received from 168 filmmakers in 33 countries.



Irish Poetry Films 2023 (57:30)

Saturday 25th November @ 11.00am

The Citizen’s Wife (1:47)

Poem: The Citizen’s Wife

by Molly Twomey

Synopsis – ‘The Citizen’s Wife’ searches for answers to the question ‘What is My Nation?’ from the perspective of a woman who has been doomed to the margins of Ireland’s historical archives. It is inspired by Episode 12 of James Joyce’s Ulysses, the Cyclops episode, traversing themes of citizenship, identity, myth, and cultural and national belonging.

Director: Natasha Duffy (Ireland)

Natasha Duffy is an award winning director and producer and creative lead of Sofft Productions. Most recently she won best director at the Berlin Indie Festival for her documentary series Home is Where the Hearth is. Her latest theatre production as Creative Producer, An Old Song, Half Forgotten was staged at The Abbey Theatre April – May 2023 to rave reviews. Natasha studied directing at Trinity College Dublin and has undertaken directing and acting masterclasses with Dee Cannon of RADA, The Gaiety School of Acting and the Momentum Acting studio.

Lumberings of Lughnasa (3:54)

Poem: Lumberings of Lughnasa

by Margaret Kilcoyne

Synopsis – Lumberings of Lughnasa challenges the reverie of an ancient cairn in South Sligo placed on Knocnashee, which in Irish translates as Cnoc na Sidhe – the hill of the fairies. It gently focuses on human pollution and disregard for the landscape, and mirrors the deadening of sitka spruce forestry and pollution, with lush green fields and avid farmland. This is an ode to ancestors who once respectfully harvested, and takes an introspective visual look at how non-native forestry and pollution is impacting ancient landscape and its people.

Director: Margaret Kilcoyne (Ireland)

Margaret Kilcoyne is a film-maker, poet and actor living in the North West of Ireland. Her films have screened previously at The Blue Whiskey Film Festival, Chicago, BARCIFF Film Festival, Barcelona and Cine Paris Film Festival where she was awarded Best New Film-maker 2023. Margaret uses themes of rural isolation, mythology, archeology and environmentalism to strike at the nub of fatalistic corporate innings which spurn to destroy simplicity, rural life, and consequently community. Margaret is currently working on a feature documentary on Sacred Space in connection to water sources in Ireland.


Lines in Memory of my Father (3:20)

Poem: Lines in Memory of my Father

by Basil Payne

Synopsis – Frightened little fishes, nudging against the glass in search of green and spacious freedom; reliving the terrible scene of his father dying in front of him as a child, Basil is trapped in a memory he yearns to escape, a pre-death childhood he yearns to regain.

Director: C. Michael Payne (Ireland)

C. Michael Payne has worked in telecommunications and Environmental Biology. He recently discovered the poetry film genre and realised it’s potential for introducing his father’s poetry to a new audience. This is his first film. He really enjoyed making it.

Current Affairs (3:34)

Poem: Current Affairs

by Julie Goo

Synopsis – Current Affairs explores resilience in the face of trauma. The theme of water is central to the poem. The practice of Qi Gong is celebrated in the film as an art form and represents the flow of words as a way of healing.

Director: Daniel Heaphy (Ireland)

Daniel Heaphy is an Irish film-maker, actor & writer. Heaphy began his acting journey at the age of six when he first started drama lessons in Cork City. He has appeared in several stage productions, and his debut documentary feature “Anne” debuted in 2020. Heaphy has continued work on documentary-film with “Titanic Cobh” (2023) and on poetry-film in “Summer ’89” (2022). His latest poetry-film “Current Affairs” is a collaboration with poet Julie Goo, an award-winning bilingual Spoken Word poet from Cork City. Heaphy’s other short-film work includes “One Night in Cork” (2021) & “The Audition” (2022). Heaphy has been short-listed for a SMEDIA Award and has had his work screened in various festivals in Ireland and the UK. He signed a publishing deal in 2022, and his debut novel is set to be released in 2024. His next release, coming-of-age film “Graduation Day” is also set for a 2024 release.

Night-Time (2:36)

Poem: Night-Time

by Mary Guckian

Synopsis – Poet Mary Guckian reminsces on her childhood memories of growing up in 1950’s rural Ireland.

Director: Éamon De Burca (Ireland)

Éamon De Búrca has been working as a filmmaker for over twenty years. Directing and producing short films, music videos, feature films and documentaries. After failing to secure financing for a feature film set in a Siberian gulag he went back to college in 2013 and graduated with a masters in feature film production. Also line producing for the feature film Poison Pen by Eoin Colfer that same year. He then took some time off to raise his two daughters and is currently working on a documentary about his time as a stay at home father called Career. This is his first time working with a poetic narrative and he’s keen to explore the medium further.

Oot Here Mae Lane (5:17)

Poem: Oot Here Mae Lane

by Charlie Gillen

Synopsis – Based around an Ulster-Scots poem by Charlie Gillen, this horse ploughing drama follows an old farmer and his old mare as they both struggle with old age. Both horse and man have been through tough times together and, even though they have seen the progress of man and machinery, they have stuck to their old fashioned ways. As they come to the end of their journey the farmer questions whether he should keep going or let both of them retire.

      I pye’t richt an’ dear
      For a three year oul mere’
      But she’s walkin in front o’ me yet,
      At thirteen I wus hir’t,
      It’s gyely time I retir’t,
      sixty years hae’s flew by far ower shane,
      But whut wud I dae
      For tae pit in mae day,
      Damn’ it I wud miss bein oot here mae lane.

Director: Tristan Crowe (Northern Ireland)

Tristan has had a long career in the creative media sector with over 17 years experience creating documentaries, short films, music videos, podcasts, radio shows, and most recently, virtual reality experiences.

Currency Exchange (2:51)

Poem: Currency Exchange

by Polina Cosgrave

Synopsis – A woman is struggling to seduce a man, just as a military state attempts to seduce a citizen.

Director: Polina Cosgrave (Ireland / USA)

Polina Cosgrave is a bilingual writer and Arts Council award recipient based in Dublin. Polina’s debut poetry collection My Name Is was published by Dedalus Press. Her work has appeared on TV, radio and in numerous anthologies and journals, such as The Stinging Fly and Crannóg, and featured in Dublin Fringe Festival 2023.

Sometimes I Pray for Bad Fun (4:40)

Poem: Sometimes I Pray for Bad Fun

by Niall Cuddy

Synopsis – A poetry film using the image of the clown to convey an impression of loneliness and defiance in response to social conventions and expectations.

Directors: Niall Cuddy (Ireland)

Niall Cuddy is a visual and performing artist, spoken word artist & musician based in Cork. He has written and recorded four long playing albums and numerous EPs and singles. He also directs videos to accompany his music and words. His poetry film “Sometimes I Pray for Bad Fun”, which appears on the EP “Falling Grace”, was shortlisted for The Drumshanbo Written Word Literary Festival Poetry Film Award in 2023.

In Omos de San Francisco (3:03)

Poem: In Omos de San Francisco

by Seamus Connolly

Synopsis – A reflection on Francisco de Cuellar’s incredible survival. The sea captain sailed with the Spanish Armada and in 1588 was wrecked on the West coast of Ireland.

Director: Edwin Mullane (Ireland)

Edwin Mullane is a multi-award-winning director and actor. His creative work spans film, TV, theatre and radio. Most recently, his short film ‘Cleaner’ has been picking up awards and nominations at film festivals in Ireland and abroad including ‘BEST CORK SHOT’ at Cork International Film Festival and BEST INTERNATIONAL SHORT at Nottingham International Film festival. Edwin is currently in post production with A Christmas Matter, a new film written by GARY DUGGAN and starring Mary Murray. Edwin’s work on commercial campaigns includes direction and production for clients such as Zurich, Capitalflow, Government of Ireland, IRFU, Spar and Statkraft.


The Spider’s Industrial Age (2:46)

Poem: The Spider’s Industrial Age

by Philip Spillane

Synopsis – A dystopian sci-fi poem. Portraying a time when the spiders tried to reach the moon, shrouding the earth in a dark age that eventually collapsed.

Director: Philip Spillane (Ireland)

Phil Spillane is a poet, musician, and writer from County Cork, Ireland. His pieces are inspired by mixing the mundane with the strange, mythic, and spiritual. In 2022 he performed spoken word at Sling Slang, Prose&Woes, and Only Your Footprints Festival near Dunmanway. This year he collaborated with other artists in a show called the Crossover at the Port to Port Festival in Lisbon. He’s currently working on his first poetry collection and other exciting projects.

Grass (4:15)

Poem: Grass

by Grace Wells

Synopsis – An eco-poetry-film celebrating the life of Irish grasses.

Director: Grace Wells (Ireland)

Grace Wells is an award-winning eco-poet, environmental writer, and more recently small-film maker. Nature, spirit-of-place and environmental concern have been large themes in her work ever since the publication of her debut children’s novel Gyrfalcon, which won the Eilís Dillon Award and was an International White Ravens Choice. Wells has published three books of poetry with Dedalus Press, most recently in 2022, The Church of the Love of the World. In 2021 Clare County Council Arts Office and Poetry Ireland’s selected her as Poet Laureate for Ennistymon as part of the Poetry Town project. Grace volunteers regularly for Hometree Charity re-establishing native woodland at various sites across Ireland. In 2021, she assisted Hometree in producing Under Summer Pastures, a collection of essays from some of Ireland’s leading ecological thinkers exploring Ireland’s endangered Temperate Rainforests. She runs ‘The Little Sanctuary’, a small nature preserve, forest-garden and retreat space on the edge of Ennistymon, Co Clare. Confined by the limitations and restrictions of the pandemic, Grace began making short eco-poetry-films which can be viewed at gracewellslittlesanctuary.com.

Drift (6:13)

Poem: Drift

by Matthew Geden

Synopsis – The will to be upright and the rhythm of walking are definitive characteristics of being human–of conscious thought. But the landscape has another kind of rhythm and a different intelligence that brings the human animal to heel despite the perceived privilege of our being.

Director: Jennifer Redmond (Ireland)

Jennifer Redmond is a multidisciplinary artist and writer. She is based in Cork and has been making moving image work since 2018 when she edited mink (moving image network Kerry) a collaborative film screening platform showing artist films online and in exhibition. She made and showed The Cloud Architect at The Ó Bheal Winter Warmer 2022. She publishes critique, non-fiction and poetry, and has ongoing collaborative projects with a variety of musicians artists and writers.


Making an Orchard (4:15)

Poem: Making an Orchard

by Maeve O’Hair

Synopsis – This poetry film is about the making of an organic Irish heritage orchard. There are also themes of loss, loneliness, single parenthood after the death of a spouse, love and leaving a legacy.

Director: Maeve O’Hair (Ireland)

Maeve O’Hair is a poetry practitioner from Co.Tipperary. Her poetry film, Stringism, was shortlisted for Homeland video art project and was screened at Damer House Art Gallery, Roscrea, Co.Tipperary in 2022. In December of the same year she won the poetry film section at Spelt literary magazine in England for her work, Making an Orchard. This film was selected for Bloomsday Film Festival 2023, where it was screened at the James Joyce Centre, Dublin. She is also an organic farmer, reflexologist, and co-founder of a café co-operative. She holds a BA (Hons) degree in Writing and Literature from Yeats Academy of Arts, ATU Sligo. Maeve’s life experiences have given her an astute sense of people and place, which she explores through word, image and installation.

Swimming Lesson (2:24)

Poem: Swimming Lesson

by Victoria Kennefick

Synopsis – In a Dublin laundromat, Cork poet Victoria Kennefick performs “Swimming Lesson” from her Carcanet Press collection Eat or We Both Starve.

Director: Matthew Thompson (Ireland/USA)

Matthew Thompson is an Irish photographer and filmmaker. He is currently exhibiting a series of films, Poetry Speaks, in the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, May through August 2021. His portrait of Andrew Hozier-Byrne was shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Award 2020. In 2015, his film collaboration with Broadstone Films, “New Horizons,” represented Ireland in the Architectural Biennale, Shenzhen, China. Commissioning clients include Philips, Saatchi & Saatchi Pro, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, Bielke & Yang, Socio Design, Made Thought, Monocle, Wired (Japan), Condé Nast, Time-Warner, Cara, and EMI. His personal work primarily concentrates on how conditioning influences perception and has been exhibited in New York, Paris, London, Shenzhen, Helsinki, Belfast, and Dublin. Matthew holds a Masters of Fine Art Photography from the University of Ulster, Belfast, and a Bachelor of Design degree from The National College of Art & Design, Dublin.


honeybutter (3:13)

Poem: honeybutter

by Eleanor O’Brien

Synopsis – A spoken word piece about feeling not worthy of someone else and trying to fit into them. Butter, our protagonist, looks on at Honey who is gold, rich and soothing. For anyone who has felt like Butter and for all the others who will never know that they are Honey.

Director: Saara Vuola (Ireland)

Saara Vuola is a Finnish director and photographer. She is delighted to announce ’honeybutter’ as her directing debut. However she has been working as a DOP and art director for several years. Her latest short film ’perennials’ was screened in Canada and Indonesia, where it was well received. She is well known for her own, strong visual style that concentrates on capturing the atmosphere and beauty of small, authentic moments. Saara is currently living in Italy, where she hopes to continue exploring directing.

Sometimes They Come Back (3:22)

Poem: Sometimes They Come Back

by Cormac Culkeen

Synopsis – A poem about a childhood friend, remembered as a middle-aged man.

Director: Cormac Culkeen (Ireland)

Cormac Culkeen is a writer of poetry, fiction and short stories and has recently completed a Masters in Writing in University of Galway. His written work has been published in Apricot Press, The Burning Bush, Skylight 47, The Wild Word, Sonder Magazine, Causeway Magazine, Bindweed Magazine and the Galway Advertiser‘s Vox Galvia New Writing page. Cormac was shortlisted for the Cúirt Literary Festival’s new writing poetry prize in 2013 and was twice a featured reader at Over the Edge. He was the winner of the 2021 Sonder Magazine Panorama flash fiction competition and won first place in the Maureen Beasley Poets Corner competition at Listowel Writer’s Week 2022. Cormac’s first collection of poetry, The Boy with the Radio, was published in May 2022 by Beir Bua Press.