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LYRICAL VISION VI – a jewel of a New Zealand summer screening

LYRICAL VISIONS VI (Friday, January 26th) promises to be one of those ‘jewel’ events that glint tantalizingly across the water:  both creatively excellent with a finely honed curation, but also a really memorable and enjoyable  evening out with a mixture of films and live events. One example is poet and musician Ron Riddell performing a long poem accompanied by his guitar about life’s journey (troubadour for 2024), and concluding with poetry inspired songs by Caitlin Smith. This is one occasion that I know I will really regret missing, but having recently returned to the UK from Mexico City I will have to wait a while before for my next long trip overseas!

Lyrical Visions is an annual showcase of short films and animations inspired by visual or written poetry, screened every New Zealand summer (December, January) in Titirangi Theatre, Auckland. Curated by leading filmmakers Martin Sercombe and Robin Kewell, they say: ‘Lyrical Visions explores the creative force fields between creative writing and cinema, and mixes single screen work with multimedia performance. Each show combines the work of Auckland-based artist filmmakers, film students, poets and composers, alongside selected international projects.’


I am very familiar with Martin’s work, as his AI film Night is Paper (featured image) is included in the Poetry Book + Film  publication and screening Frame to Frames : Your Eyes Follow II published by Poem Film Editions, available here at Liberated Words. [The first screening of all the Frame to Frame films, and the announcement of the winning film (by British artist Meriel Land)  was at FOTOGENIA, Mexico City, December, 2023, with many films based on the festival painting Huapango Torero by Mexican artist Ana Segovia.] As an artist he has been making  films and photographic works since the 1980s alongside running Media Projects, a video production company. I will be featuring more on his extraordinary AI filmmaking later this year.

I am also fortunate that Martin selected two of my films for the curation – Bull (also part of the ekphrastic Frame to Frames screening and book project) based on Huapango Torero, with my daughter, the performance artist  XaiLA, performing as a mime artist. Interestingly, he also selected Mr Sky (with poem by Lucy English), an earlier work I am very fond of, which captures the times of a day from a fixed camera as stills, and then plays roulette with them like a slot machine, in parallel to the emotional turbulence of a couple’s relationship.

I am also pleased to see Noho Mai the prize-winning film that arose from a workshop, and embraces a connection with the land and our ancestors by Charles Olsen, Lilián Pallares, Peta-Maria Tunui, Waitahi Aniwaniwa, McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds and Jesse-Ana Harris.

Lyrical Visions VI Programme 2024

 Places by Shane Koyczan 6 mins 32 secs

A powerful indictment of our society’s indifference towards the homeless.

Mr Sky by Lucy English and Sarah Tremlett 4 mins 2018

From dawn to nightfall, the sky reflects a couple’s relationship.

Bull/Toro 5 mins Sarah Tremlett and XaiLA 2023

Darkly comic mime cabaret provides the stage for Bull / Toro, which considers that man and bull are very similar, and respond in the same way to aggravation. An ekphrastic poetry film based on the painting Huapango Torero by Mexican artist Ana Segovia in the Italian sonnet form. The film is included in the poetry book + films Frame to Frames: Your Eyes Follow II published by Poem Film Editions, available through liberatedwordspoetryfilms@gmail.com     www.liberatedwords.com.

Night is Paper 4 mins 28 secs Martin Sercombe and Thom Conroy 2022

Night is Paper is a cinepoetic collaboration with novelist Dr Thom Conroy (see feature image). The AI generated imagery and text based response eves-drops into a shadowy, indistinct world where nothing can be fully understood. The film is included in the poetry book + films Frame to Frames: Your Eyes Follow II published by Poem Film Editions, available through liberatedwordspoetryfilms@gmail.com.      www.liberatedwords.com.

House Plant Ellen Jones-Poole 2 mins 28 secs 2023

Actor David Liwei Shi sits cramped within a tiny living area of curated belongings and paraphernalia, whilst struggling with his inner demons. Winner of Best NZ Poetry Film at the Aotearoa Poetry Film Festival 2023.

Poetry and Music Live with Ron Riddell 20 mins

Ron will perform works from his latest book of poetry, The Wanderer, a long poem about the human journey, accompanied by his guitar.

Interval 10 mins

Hidden Life 4 mins 19 secs Chap Edmonson and Elina Petrova 2023

This cinepoem explores code-switching, cultural humility and the hidden complexities that lay behind simple stories of joy, trauma and wonder rooted in the perpetual summer of Houston. The poem was written by Ukranian poet Elina Petrova, who recently fled to the USA from the atrocities in her wintry native land.

Popa Pete’s Pot 4 mins 30 secs Diane Blomfield and Martin Sercombe 2023

The film poem is a homage to Diane Blomfield’s father and explores the rhythms and repetitions of his daily domestic life, using AI generated ink and watercolour illustrations.  It fondly recalls his evolving relationships with his three daughters as the years pass by.


Noho Mai 5 mins 33 secs McGee, Bailey, Edmonds, Harris, Pallares, Olsen, Tunui

Symbolized in the bird’s flight, a group of Māori, Pākehā and Colombian creatives explore life’s journey, the longing to return to the nest, and the life-giving connection with our ancestors. Winner Best Poetry Film, 8th Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition, 2020.

Te Marae o Hine 11 mins 30 secs Martin Sercombe and Dr Mesmer’s Private Army 2022

Set in The Square, Palmerston North, the film explores its matrix of paths, trees, grass and architectural landmarks, as they are traversed from dawn to dusk by visitors. ‘In this beautiful film, the everyday encounters deep time through the multiplication of built and natural spaces: the fleeting moments memorialised in the almost mathematical precision of Sercombe’s newly imagined spaces …’ Dr Thom Conroy.

Live Performance by Caitlin Smith 20 mins

Caitlin will perform poetry inspired songs from her current repertoire.

For more on LYRICAL VISIONS and earlier editions please go to https://martinsercombe.com/lyrical-visions-2/

For more on Frame to Frames : Your Eyes Follow the publication, please email for special offer orders: