Announcing Going West Festival’s ‘Different Out Loud’ Season: Video Collaborations between Poets and Filmmakers

Going West Festival announces a brand-new approach to celebrating live poetry with Different Out Loud, a collection of thoughtful video collaborations between Aotearoa poets and filmmakers. Themed around the word ‘coastal’, these integrated pieces by some of our best poets and finest screen artists will air online from 12 April 2021. 

The Kaupapa for Different Out Loud was to create poetry on the theme of ‘coastal’ or ‘littoral’, shot within the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area. Four of these videos are true collaborations, in which poets and filmmakers have worked together to develop integrated pieces, where the words and pictures depend on each other for their fullest meaning. Collaborations are between poet Grace Iwashita-Taylor and director Ursula Grace; poet Hera Lindsay Bird and director Luke McPake; poet Murray Edmond and director Luke McPake; and poet Serie Barford and director Anna Marbrook.

‘We thought of them as music videos: creative little operas, each one creating its own poetic world. Part of the kaupapa was to acknowledge our papakainga: te wao nui a Tiriwa (more commonly known as the Waitākere Ranges).’ - James Littlewood

Different Out Loud marks a turning point in the development of Going West as a literary organisation, as they embark on a journey of commissioning and publishing brand new, original work. These newly commissioned films represent a natural extension of Going West’s kaupapa to explore the wider realms of literary discussion, oratory and performance. Going West has a long involvement in poetry and now, in this stay-at-home world of pandemic alert levels, they have embarked on a new way of doing poetry for a wider audience. These selected videos are just the beginning, with miniature documentaries, a book and an entirely reworked and covid-adaptable live programme to come. 

‘We’re super proud to be commissioning new work to add to the canon of Aotearoa poetry, and our sneak-peaks at the work in progress has literally put a tear in our eye.’ James Littlewood

Different Out Loud will breathe life into a new favourite with the original production of Allen Curnow’s classic, existential, west Auckland treatise, The Loop in Lone Kauri Road, in a collaboration between director Adam Jones and westy actor, Mark Mitchenson. 

‘Everything is different this year, and Going West is no exception. Different Out Loud is our celebration of doing things differently. And, because we know how much our audience loves coming to Titirangi, perched high in the Waitākere ranges, we decided to connect all these video-poems to this place in some way. So, all the location shots in these works are shot somewhere in the Waitākere Ranges Local Board area (and we thank the Board and Auckland Council for their support of this project).’


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Event Timeline

12 April: Littoral/Literal

Poet: Murray Edmond

Director: Luke McPake

Part poetry, part documentary, the season opens with a little festival by the sea. Poet, dramatist, and educator Murray Edmond collaborates with beach tagger David Hilliam to explore the theme of coastal poetry (littoral/literal) on the vast canvas of North Piha. Director Luke McPake captures the action in a charming piece that’s as subtle as it is festive, quietly rejoicing in shared words amidst an imposing west coast landscape.

19 April: Te Ara Kanohi

Poet: Serie Barford

Director: Anna Marbrook

Long-time festival friend (and former chair) Serie Barford’s poignant ode to her lost lover traverses the memories of a strong partnership, tragically brought to a premature end. Barford has walked the forests and beaches of Auckland’s west coast for many years, and this stunning and deeply emotional film traces both the memory of love, and the Te Henga ara walked so often by Serie and her partner.

April 27: The Loop in Lone Kauri Road

Poet: Allen Curnow

Director: Adam Jones

Performer: Mark Mitchinson

Black and white with animation

This project dives into the existential crisis imbued in Curnow’s words, suggesting a narrator with much on his mind, besides his picture-postcard location. Rather, this is a place of ‘raw red cuttings’; where dogs place healthy turds; hawks fly ‘heavy with an offal of silence’; and where helicopters ‘clapper-clawed the sea’.  Filmmaker Adam Jones creates a richly cinematic experience, juxtaposing hand-held close-ups with sweeping vistas and abrupt flash-backs. In this reading of the Lone Kauri Road, the observer is anywhere other than his immediate vicinity: his memory – 'the same two minds' – throws up life experiences faster than he can interpret his current environment. 

May 3: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Goodnight

Poet: Hera Lindsay Bird

Director: Luke McPake

Animated (portrait aspect ratio)

In an iconoclastic style for which Bird has become famous, this poem takes its name and its starting point from the famous work by Dylan Thomas, but relocates Thomas’s classical form into the more immediate and slightly surreal parlance of young modern lovers. Director Luke McPake’s hand drawn and roto-scoped animations shy away from illustration towards a visual poem in their own right, – almost haiku like – complementing Bird’s text while leaving it ample space to do its uncanny work.

May 10: Edgewalker

Poet / Creator: Grace Iwashita-Taylor

Director: Ursula Grace

Animated by Pixel Push

This deeply personal account of Grace Iwashita-Taylor’s relationship with the ocean traverses feelings, whakapapa and the endless ocean itself, redolent with emotional and cultural references. Taylor collaborated closely with filmmaker Ursula Grace, both Pasifika wāhine drawing heavily on their mixed heritage to create a unique and powerful visual language, connecting cellular-level intimacy across vast distances of time and space. Adding further to the collaboration, animation duo Han Law and Siew Wee bring the language to life.

Contributor Bios

Murray Edmond: Murray was born in Kirikiriroa in 1949 and lives in Glen Eden. 14 books of poetry (Shaggy Magpie Songs, 2015, and Back Before You Know, 2019 most recent); book of novellas (Strait Men and Other Tales, 2015); Then It Was Now Again: Selected Critical Writing (2014); editor, Ka Mate Ka Ora dramaturge for Indian Ink Theatre. Forthcoming: Time to Make a Song and Dance: Cultural Revolt in Auckland in the 1960s, from Atuanui Press in May, 2021. Murray’s latest book of poems Back Before You Know was shortlisted in the 2020 NZ Book Awards. Find out more

Luke McPake: Luke has produced music videos, documentaries, and commercials. He was the video lead for The Wireless, and in 2020 won best feature video at the Voyager Media awards for his work with RNZ's In-depth team. Luke's documentary camera work and post-production has appeared on RNZ, The Wireless, Vice, Red Bull TV, UNDP, The Guardian and TVNZ. He has also taught design, animation and moving image at tertiary level. Find out more 

Anna Marbrook: Anna works in a variety of mediums and values collaboration and power-sharing. She has a strong documentary background, especially with Pasifika communities and is the co-founder of Theatre at Large with Christian Penny. Her series Real Pasifik, celebrating Pacific food and culture, led into the award-winning feature-length documentarTe Mana o te Moana – The Pacific Voyagersco-directed with Mike Single. In conjunction with waka-master Hoturoa Barclay-Kerr and designer Kasia Pol, she developed the multi-day event A Waka Odyssey, which launched the 2018 International Festival of the Arts in Wellington. Her much celebrated feature-length documentary Loimata: The Sweetest Tears was set to debut at the 2020 NZ International Film Festival. Find out more

Serie (Cherie) Barford: Serie is a poet and short story writer with a strong background and interest in performance poetry. Her published poetry collections are Plea to the Spanish Lady (Hard Echo Press, 1985), Glass Canisters (Hard Echo Press, 1989), Tapa Talk (Huia, 2007), and Entangled Islands (Anahera Press 2015). She has also been published in a number of journals and anthologies, such as Whetu MoanaNiu VoicesLandfallPoetry New ZealandWriting the Pacific, and Best New Zealand Poems. She was awarded the Seresin Landfall Residency in 2011. Find out more

Allen Curnow: No New Zealand poet so consistently defied expectations as Allen Curnow. Over his long and deeply influential career, Curnow traversed a huge terrain of poetic voices and concerns, and won many awards and other forms of recognition. He was made a CBE in 1986 and received the Order of New Zealand in 1990, and was awarded the A.W. Reed Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2000 Montana New Zealand Book Awards. In his Collected Poems 1933–73, Curnow wrote: ‘I had to get past the severities, not to say rigidities, of our New Zealand anti-myth: away from questions which present themselves as public and answerable, towards the questions which are always private and unanswerable.’ A critic and anthologiser of New Zealand poetry, Curnow’s observations throughout his lifetime shaped the direction and debates — often controversial — about poetry in this country. Find out more

Adam Jones: Adam has directed, shot and edited music videos, feature films, documentaries and television shows since the early 2000s. He shot Real Pasifik with Robert Oliver, a reality show which promoted Pasifika tourism while connecting tourist infrastructure to local food producers. He’s produced music videos with some of Aotearoa’s most recognised artists including Scribe, and Opshop. With a special interest in classic cars, Adam couldn’t resist the chance to make Lone Kauri Road, a road trip with a difference. Find out more

Grace Iwashita-Taylor: Grace is breathing bloodlines of Samoa, England and Japan. An artist of upu/words led her to the world of performing arts. Dedicated to carving, elevating and holding spaces for storytellers of Te Moana nui a Kiwa. Recipient of the CNZ Emerging Pacific Artist 2014 and the Auckland Mayoral Writers Grant 2016. Highlights include holding the visiting international writer in residence at the University of Hawaii 2018, Co-Founder of the first youth poetry slam in Aotearoa, Rising Voices (2011 - 2016) and the South Auckland Poets Collective and published collections Afakasi Speaks (2013) & Full Broken Bloom (2017) with ala press. Writer of MY OWN DARLING commissioned by Auckland Theatre Company (2015, 2017, 2019) and Curator of UPU (Auckland Arts Festival 2020). Find out more

Ursula Grace: Born of New Zealand, Samoan descent Ursula has a knack for telling intimate stories about issues and people on the outskirts of society. As Head of Production for VICE New Zealand she produced and directed a number of award-winning documentaries. Her most recently released documentary, Deportees of Tonga: Gangsters in Paradise, has so far been viewed by over nine million people worldwide and is currently a finalist for Best Feature Video at the 2020 Voyager Media Awards. The Zealandia series at large has been picked up by networks all over the globe and viewed collectively by nearly twenty million people. 

Her first short documentary film, The King, won her the inaugural Bright Sunday Emerging Pasifika Director Award at the 2016 Wairoa Maori Film Festival, as well as taking out the Best Short Audience Award at the NZIFF and showcasing at the Sydney Film Festival in the same year. In 2020 she won Best Podcast at the Voyager Media Awards (she was executive producer) for He Kākano Ahau. Other recent award nominations include Best News Video, Best Feature Video, Best Editorial Feature and Best Team Video at the New Zealand Voyager Awards 2019 for ‘Zealandia’. She is currently finishing directing two six part series with TVNZ and NZoA. Find out more

What: 5 collaborations on video between poets and filmmakers
Where: online
When: April 2021 
Who: Grace Iwashita-Taylor and Ursula Grace; Serie Barford and Anna Marbrook; Murray Edmond and Luke McPake; Hera Lindsay Bird and Luke McPake; and Mark Mitchenson (performing Allen Curnow) with Adam Jones.