Edinburgh Local

Film Poetry Project

The Festival of Creative Learning at the University of Edinburgh has partnered with Magma Poetry on a collaborative film poetry project.

Still from Film Poetry Project
Still from Film Poetry Project

in which four students from the Edinburgh College of Art Film Directing MA and students from the Edinburgh Movie Production Society (EMPS) have teamed up with poets who were specially selected by Magma editors.

The filmmakers chose poems from a shortlist and have been using them to create original film poems which bring poetry to life in a visual way. Film-makers and poets worked together to make cinematic interpretations of the poems. 

The project has brought poetry into the local community, with screenings in Edinburgh to showcase the final pieces. It willbe featured in the next edition of Magma and on their website, and a screening also took place as part of the most recent Magma event at the Cinema Museum in London earlier in July.

It has been a great chance to hook students up with professional writers, and give the filmmakers and poets a high level of exposure. 

Poetry can often stay closed between book covers or in the grip of small groups. These collaborations and public events offer poetry to the community in new ways can really help people connect with the art form.

It has also been a great example of how the University and the community can work closely on projects together, and contribute artistically to a culturally-renowned city. 


Having worked for small arts organisations in Edinburgh and now for the University, it is striking to me how - though we all live in close quarters with one another in this relatively small city - there can sometimes be barriers between the life of students/staff and the life of others in the city. It was sometimes hard when working in arts organisations in Edinburgh to find ways to connect with the University to do projects or invite the students to be audience members at events, and now from within the University I find that the systems unintentionally often do not support or encourage engagement with the community. Events like this one are a way of breaking down some of these barriers, and it was so heart-warming at the screening to be in a room filled with staff, students, artists, poets and others from the wider community in Edinburgh (and beyond). The University and the city both have so much to offer and to learn from one another, and finding new ways to share the learning opportunities and creativity of both seems vital. 

Jennifer Williams, Projects & Engagement Coordinator, Institute for Academic Development, Uni eristy of Edinburgh

Find out more

You can read the full blog here.