Boulder International Fringe Festival associate producer Kestrel Burley wants to create a “Petri dish for experimentation” this year. It’s an apt metaphor: Like a lab scientist, Burley is providing the materials, setting the parameters and then stepping back to see what will happen. In advance of the main Fringe festivities (August 18 through 29), organizers are presenting Poetry in Motion, which pairs six filmmakers with six poets and challenges the moviemakers to come up with a short film inspired by a poem they were assigned. The filmmakers have one week to pull it off.

But the collaborations are no free-for-all: The Fringe has set some pretty strict guidelines. “We’ve made it clear to the filmmakers that these are not music videos set to poems,” says Burley. “If the poem says ‘Johnny walks to his car,’ we’ve told them, ‘please do not show Johnny walking to his car or put that in a subtitle or anything else. We want a work inspired by a poem, not a representation of it.”

Filmmaker-poet pairings will be announced tonight at the Mercury Cafe, 2199 California Street, following the Sunday Poetry Slam. The program continues Wednesday at the Packing House Center for the Arts with a panel on cross-genre works and a few collaborative performances, then wraps up with a screening of the films at Bindery | Space on Saturday, August 14. Tickets range from $5 to $10; for more information, go to www.boulderfringe.com or call 720-563-9950.
Sun., Aug. 8, 7:30 p.m.; Wednesdays, Saturdays, 7 p.m. Starts: Aug. 8. Continues through Aug. 14, 2010

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Jef Otte
Contact: Jef Otte