Filmpoem Festival 2014 commissioned British poets David Harsent, Helen Mort, John Glenday and Michael Symmons Roberts to produce new work on the theme of migration. Filmpoem then commissioned films of these poems; these films will be presented in conversation with poets John Glenday, David Harsent and Michael Symmons Roberts.
Ocean is by David Harsent, directed by Alastair Cook with cinematography by James William Norton and sound composed by Luca Nasciuti. Alastair, James and Luca form the main growing making poetry-film under the name Filmpoem. Filmpoem was founded by artist Alastair Cook in 2009 and is dedicated to the filming of words. The combination of film and poetry is an attractive one. For the poet, perhaps a hope that the filmmaker will bring something to the poem: a new audience, a visual attraction, the laying of way markers; for the filmmaker, a fixed parameter to respond to, the power of a text sparking the imagination with visual connections and metaphor.
David Harsent has published ten collections of poetry. The most recent, Night — published in January 2011 — was Poetry Book Society Choice for Spring 2011 and won the Griffin International Poetry Prize, as well as being shortlisted for the Forward Prize (Best Collection), the T.S. Eliot Prize, and the Costa Poetry Prize. He is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Alastair Cook works with lens-based media focusing on large format film and wet plate collodion photography; he is also an award winning filmmaker using 8mm and 16mm film, combining these with digital technology to great effect. His work is driven by his skill and experience as a conservation architect: this mercurial work is rooted in place and the intrinsic connections between people, land and sea. Filmpoem ( filmpoem.com ) was founded by Alastair Cook in 2009 and is dedicated to the filming of words.