Comma Film


In association with Literature Northwest. ‘Bad Leg’ by Ed Barton/Scott Davenport

Screening: Tue 27th Nov, New Islington Mill, James Street, Salford. M3 5HW. 7pm.

This Autumn, Salford Film Festival and Comma Press are teaming up to host a special SALFORD FILM CHALLENGE.

The aim of the wider Comma Film project is to inspire budding filmmakers to work with, and interpret, a number of published poems in new and unexpected ways.
‘HeartWrap’ by Shamshad Khan/Lisa Risbec

This particular challenge will lead to a screening of the best work at a premier event as part of Salford’s unique film festival.
Films made as part of the challenge will be shown alongside specially commissioned pieces by Sarah Eyre and James Fisher (‘Streets’ based on a poem by David Constantine), and Charlotte Caetano (‘Pride’ based on a poem by Michelle Green).

Filmmakers are invited to read a selection of published poems by established Salford poets – including Tony Walsh, David Constantine, and surprise guest – and to select one (and reserve it with the organisers) to then adapt and deliver as a completed, fully edited short film by 9am Mon 26th Nov.

To take part in the project, filmmakers must reserve a poem from the list available asap.


To view the poems available for adaptation, pdfs of individual poems and full collections can be downloaded from a special yahoo account. Go to, click Mail and enter the ID ‘commafilms’ in the first box. For copyright reasons, the password for the second box cannot be made available on the internet. To find it out email expressing your interest in the project and your filmmaking background (previous films, courses attended, etc). The manuscripts will then be available as attachments to individual emails in the inbox.

Poems will be reserved on a first-come-first-serve basis. To reserve one email the address above or call Comma on 0779 256 4747.


A genuine, clear vision for realising the poem. A poem can be interpreted as literally or imaginatively as the filmmaker wishes, as specifically and as personally as they wish, or in the most abstract terms. All types of filmmaking are encouraged – from lens-less animation (flash, photoshop) through to dramatisation, montage, mocumentary, you name it. If the vision of the filmmaker is clear enough, the film cannot fail. The only condition is the poem is narrated accurately thoughout.

The poets are willing to narrate the poem(s) themselves (or even appear in them, if anyone wants them to), but they’re also happy for actors or other people to do the voice-overs.

MP3 recordings can be made and provided by the organisers, Comma, on request.


Filmmakers must reserve a poem asap by contacting Comma: / 0779 256 4747

All films need to be finished, edited and delivered by no later than 9am Mon 26th Nov to Ra Page at Comma Press, 3rd Floor, 24 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1DW.


Films can be produced on any format, or combination of formats. The final edited version however must be delivered to us a datafile (e.g. a ‘.avi’ or ‘.mov’ file), as well as on a DVD burn. If datafiles are not possible, a miniDV copy is essential. Films not submitted on this format will not be considered for the showreel. Films must not contain any adult language or imagery unless demanded by the text. They must also refrain from using strobe lighting or any footage or music that isn’t copyright-free or cleared for use by the copyright owners.
Filmmakers are advised to take extra care on putting the final stages to the film, in particular the soundtrack and voice-over of the poem. No matter how familiar the filmmaker has become with the words of the poem, they must remember the audience will never have heard it before and will therefore need the delivery and the sound quality of voice-over to be crisp. Any music and ambient sounds should be very careful not to overlap or drown out the poem being read.
In association with Literature Northwest Comma Film