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Animated Poetry: 15 animated shorts inspired by Flemish poems

4 juni 2007
A collection of 15 animated shorts of all kinds, based on 15 contemporary Flemish poems. Such is the result of Animated Poetry, a project that offered recently graduated film students the opportunity to make an animated 2 to 2.5-minute short. In the international festival circuit the 15 are presented both collectively as well as individually.
Motivated by the success and the quality of the Dutch Dicht/Vorm-projects, produced a couple of years ago, production company S.O.I.L. took the initiative to invite young filmmakers from Flanders to interpret poetry by means of animation. The ambition to bring new inspirations to filmmakers and to match visual arts to poetry was linked to the challenge of giving young talent the opportunity to produce a first professional film, under the guidance of experienced animators. The Flanders Audiovisual Fund (VAF) acknowledged the value of this unique project, that puts a whole new generation of animation filmmakers on display, and rewarded it with an important financial contribution. 'The Fund provided €400.000 on a total budget of €500.000', says Geert Van Goethem of S.O.I.L. Animated Poetry will reach not only a festival audience, it is also presented on DVD as part of an educational programme for secondary schools. A similar programme in the Netherlands was very successful and even received an award from the European Union in the context of LINGUA. By the end of 2007, S.O.I.L. and Dutch partner il Luster will organise multidisciplinary events in cultural centres in the Netherlands and in Flanders, on which the animation shorts will be presented in a special way. 'The whole idea of Animated Poetry was not to illustrate poems, but to interpret them in a visual way', explains Van Goethem. 'The filmmakers were totally free in their interpretation. While their Dutch colleagues had been asked to represent the poems visually or auditively, the filmmakers from Flanders did not even have to use the words of the poem in their end product. The 15 projects were selected out of a total of about 60, the final selection was made taking into account that different animation techniques should be represented. The result is very personal, the makers really put their heart into it. At the world premiere in Portugal, the audience was very impressed'. For the international market, specialised translators were asked to make a simultaneous translation.