The project saw Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) students team up with poets selected by Magma Poetry magazine to create a series of short films.

The Festival of Creative Learning, which started as a week of events at the University of Edinburgh, has now grown into a year-long festival exploring creative learning and innovation. It is supported by the University's Institute for Academic Development (IAD).

Jennifer Williams from the Festival was approached by Stav Poleg from Magma Poetry, one of the UK’s leading poetry magazines, to try and connect film students with poets. In the course of a few weeks, they received over 400 submissions from writers who were interested in their work being adapted for the screen.

Anyone Can Buy a Seat at the Cinema
© Maggie Clark 2018

"I love that film poetry can accommodate a great range of styles, and that there is something in it for everyone’s taste."

Jennifer Williams, Projects & Engagement Coordinator, University of Edinburgh

The ECA students, Maggie Clark, Theodore Fisher, Marios Lizides, and Simon Ray were given a shortlist and asked to select a poem each to use as a starting point for their film. They then regularly consulted with the writers as they worked on their adaptation.

"As my focus is primarily in documentary, the film poem has been an opportunity for me to expand my creative practice and be a little bit more playful with the way I film," said Maggie, "It’s pushed me to use visual metaphor as a storytelling device, which is a challenge I’ve really enjoyed!"

"The films are marvellous and we got lots of positive feedback," said Jennifer from the Festival, "We have been awed by the results.”

Marios Lizides ECA Film Directing Magma Poetry
Image: Marios Lizides, Film Directing - MA
Still from "Pegasus in the Lab" by Marios Lizides
Theodore Fisher ECA Film Directing Magma Poetry
Image: Theodore Fisher, Film Directing - MA
Still from "The Wanderers" by Theodore Fisher

Jennifer and the four ECA students recently travelled to the Cinema Museum in London for the launch of Magma's ‘The Film Issue’, which include a screening of the final versions of their films on 13 July 2018.

"It was a brilliant evening – the Cinema Museum is a magical place," said Jennifer, "It is an enormous building and filled with extraordinary objects and photographs to do with the history of film everywhere you look."

"We want to celebrate the poets and film students who engaged with their collaborations with such energy and artistic integrity. We hope this will be the first set of film poems of many for the artists involved."


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