Be Manzini, Adam Steiner, Kirsten Luckins and Laura Degnan discuss poetry film, community arts and activism.
Kirsten Luckins is a poet and producer from Teesside, who creates and manages arts projects with poetry at their heart. With film-maker Laura Degnan, she is the founder of Celebrating Change, an Arts Council-funded digital storytelling project that teaches beginners how to blend creative life writing (including poetry) with simple film-making techniques.
Laura Degnan has been writing and directing short films for thirteen years. Her short films have played at festivals including the Palm Springs ShortFest, Aesthetica and the London Short Film Festival.
Laura has worked in drama development roles at Kudos Film and TV, RS Productions and the BBC. She has worked as a mentor for Channel 4’s Random Acts scheme and the BFI’s training academies. As a community filmmaker, she works in partnership with creative organisations to devise and make live action films with individuals of all ages.
Via the ‘Read our Lips’ and ‘Celebrating Change’ initiatives, Laura has worked with Kirsten Luckins to deliver poetry film and digital storytelling opportunities that empower individuals from under-represented communities to tell their stories.
In 2010 Laura founded Writers’ Block North East, a creative organisation that continues to support aspiring novelists from the region into creative careers.
Be Manzini, known as the ‘film poet’, uniquely combines passions for film, poetry and activism. First ever writer in residence for Sundance, the only poet to appear on Mark Kermode’s shows plus a regular panellist for the BFI, Manzini’s has graced stages, screens as well as the page Channel 4, across BBC tv and radio plus various podcasts. As a workshop facilitator/mentor reached over 7,000 students and as director and host for Caramel Film Club, which focusses on Black creatives, many more. Published by Peepal Tree Press, Flipped Eye and Arachne Press Manzini was crowned the Poetry in Film and overall winner for the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize 2022. Manzini is Zimbabwean born of Zulu and mSwati heritage and currently resides in London.
Adam Steiner is creator of the Coventry based Disappear Here project that began in 2015 when three Coventry artists (Adam Steiner, Brian Harley and Alan van Widjgerden) produced a collaborative poetry film of a local poet, Antony Owen.
Living With Buildings is a quarterly festival of films that explore themes of people, poetry and place to understand how we live within the built environment of cities and urban spaces.
Poetry Filmmaker’s Handbook by James Harris and Laura Degnan
Poetry Filmmaker’s Handbook by James Harris and Laura Degnan is published by kind permission from James and Laura and Apples and Snakes who commissioned the handbook.