We’re happy to bring you the winners of the 2018 Atticus Review Videopoem Contest! Thank you to everyone who entered, and to our judge, Marie Craven.

You can watch the winning entries and learn more about the filmmakers and writers by clicking the titles below.

First Prize:

Things I Found in the Hedge
Kathryn L. Darnell (director, animation)
Lucy English (writer, voice)
Country: USA / UK

Things I Found in the Hedge, Kathryn Darnell

Judge’s comments: “This film is the essence of graceful simplicity. Beautifully rendered calligraphy and botanical illustrations are animated in rhythm to a quietly textured soundtrack. This is without music – just a woman’s lilting voice accompanied by delicate environmental sounds. The poem is minimal in subject and gently humourous. It brings into focus the overlooked spaces and material details that exist beneath the radar of our busy days. There is subtle comment here on throwaway urban culture and natural processes of decay. The mood of this piece invites contemplation, relaxes the mind and feels like balm to the senses.”

Second Prize:

Qué Es El Amor (What Is Love)
Eduardo Yagüe (director)
Lucy English (writer)
Country: Spain / UK

"Qué Es El Amor (What Is Love)" Eduardo Yagüe (director) Lucy English (writer)

Judge’s comments: “A cinematic reflection on loneliness in advancing age, this videopoem is in the style of classic European art film. A solitary man exists silently inside his neat apartment as we witness the slow-moving moments of his day. On the soundtrack, a rich and deep voice speaks memories of love and long marriage. The acting is expressively understated, revealing the man’s quiet sorrow in the absence of his beloved wife, who seems now to be passed away. The poem evokes episodes from their relationship, from first meeting to later familiarities of domestic life. Masterfully directed and profoundly moving, the film is a meditation on a near-universal experience as we approach end of life.”

Third Prize:

The Whole Speaks
Caroline Rumley (director)
Nelms Creekmur (writer, voice)
Country: USA

"The Whole Speaks" Caroline Rumley (director) Nelms Creekmur (writer, voice)

Judge’s comments: “Set in a small steel forge, with a camera in close-up on hard, hot surfaces of metal and tool – this seems an unlikely subject for poetry. Yet a beautiful film poem this is. A fusion of taut phrases and tight framing draw us into the earthy, masculine soul of the craftsman. The philosophical reflections that are spoken seem spiritual in a grounded, physical way. The music is also well chosen, featuring the metallic string sounds of a solo guitar. With a fine balance of formal elements, this film is surprisingly intimate. A highly rewarding experience, lending new perspectives on a subject that might otherwise remain unseen.”

Honorable Mention:

The Cleanest Hands
Amy Bailey (director, writer, voice)
Country: USA

The Cleanest Hands Amy Bailey (director, writer, voice)

Judge’s comments: “Mental illness is the subject of this highly personal video, though the piece never speaks its clinical name. Instead, the voice of the film-maker describes her first-hand experience in a much more relatable way. Obliquely, we come to understand the harsh conditions of early life that have given rise to it, and to feel compassion for the woman’s plight. The overall treatment is inventive, making ironic and well-edited use of an archived instructional film from the 1950s. That era in cultural memory was itself repressive and psychologically damaging on a grand scale, so it seems astute to have juxtaposed that element with such human closeness in the woman’s voice and poetry. The video rises far above its modest technical resources, which in fact make it all the more powerful. ”

About the judge:
Marie Craven
 began making experimental and narrative shorts in the mid 1980s, working with super 8, 16mm and 35mm film formats. During the 1990s and into the 2000s her work was widely screened and awarded at major international film festivals. Since 2007, she has been working in digital media, mostly via internet collaboration with artists and musicians around the world. A central focus on video poetry began in 2014, and since that time she has made more than 60 videos with many poets from different countries. Her video poetry has since been screened at most of the film poetry festivals internationally, and featured in online journals. Over the decades, she has also been involved in teaching, seminars, reviewing and festival programming. Her recent videos can be found at http://vimeo.com/mariecraven