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The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival is a gallery of short films created by individual poets, videographers, and organizations to celebrate the diversity of haiku around the world. Each year since 2015 the films have been selected by The Haiku Foundation for screening on its website beginning on April 17, International Haiku Poetry Day.


The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival is an original project of The Haiku Foundation (THF), created and administered in honor of International Haiku Poetry Day. HaikuLife is an assembly of short films, created by individual poets, groups, or organizations in celebration of the diversity of haiku around the world. The subject matter of the short videos is quite varied. One might find a video presentation of a print chapbook or an original chapbook created on video, records of individual and group readings, announcements of special events, multimedia treatments of individual poems and sequences, to name a few. HaikuLife is presented on the THF YouTube channel beginning on April 17, and the films remain available for viewing throughout the year.

Festival films are presented in a wide range of formats, all focusing on haiku and related verse forms in one way or another. A special format called HaikuLife was developed especially for the project. A HaikuLife format film consists of seventeen 17-second segments, each containing one haiku, image, or bloc of related images for a total run-time for the video of 4 minutes 49 seconds. An introductory film, Welcome to HaikuLife, introduces the format and offers instructions as to how to create HaikuLife videos.

More traditional formats are also welcome at The HaikuLife Festival. Feature format is the designation for films longer than 15 minutes; typically the festival presents one or two feature-length films for each year’s screening, complemented by 10–20 shorter films. Video haiga treating a single poem are of approximately one-minute in duration. Free-format films of variable length make up the rest of submissions.

Titles and links to the films shown at the HaikuLife Haiku Film Festivals are presented in the table below.

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2020

Feature format

  • Richard Gilbert: Haiku Poem, Haiku Mind (filmed at Haiku North America 2019, Winston-Salem, NC); an analysis of trends in contemporary haiku based on Gilbert’s book, Poetry as Consciousness. View film here:
  • Lee Gurga and Jim Kacian: The Next Step (filmed at HNA 2019); a dialogue on what’s next for haiku poets in terms of practice, performance, and the genre itself. View film here
  • Scott Mason: Peggy Willis Lyles: Turtlerock of Ages (filmed at HNA 2019); an exploration the life and haiku of Peggy Willis Lyles. View film here
  • Dave Bonta: Crossing the Pond; Bonda pieces 30 of his video haiga together into an extended video. View film here

HaikuLife format

  • Jim Kacianafter/image; a treatment of the third section of Kacian’s book. View film here
  • Corine Timmercooing pigeons; a collection of video haiga. View film here

Free format

  • Elizabeth Crocket: Reading Fred and Ginger. View film here
  • Radu Serban: Teme si Cryzanteme. View film here
  • Terri L. French: Write Your Own Death Haiku. View film here
  • Toni Piccini: Haiku in a Primary School. View film here
  • Kala Ramesh: first rains. View film here
  • Haiku North America: HNA 2019 Readings. View film here
  • New Resonance Haiku Community: How I Found My Voice. View film here
  • An online gathering for our troubled times: Lit Candles. View film here

Video haiga

  • Dave Bonta: Pandemic Time. View film here
  • Dave Bonta: Sea Levels. View film here
  • Dave Bonta: Self-Quarantine. View film here
  • Stella Pierides: noir. View film here
  • Debbie Strange: The Other Side of Silence. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: imperfections. View film here
  • an’ya: Daily Enso. View film here

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival  2019

HaikuLife-format

  • Debbie Strange: Infinite Possibilities. View film here
  • Debbie Strange: Life Flows By. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: heavy with crows. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: wild river. View film here
  • Marita Gargiulo: Lyric Savant. View film here

Free format

Video haiga

  • Dave Bonta: cold moon. View film here
  • Dave Bonta: Porcupine. View film here
  • Dave Bonta: Snowspider. View film here
  • Corine Timmer: Bosom Buddies. View film here
  • Marion Clarke: Crying Gulls. View film here

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival  2018

Feature-format

  • Jan M. Zamorski: in silence; an exploration of the sumi-e mastery of Lidia Rozmus. View film here

Free format

  • Joe McKeon: 3 Generations. View film here
  • Roberta Beary: Caretaker 1 & 2. View film here
  • Lucia Fontana: Day Moon and Others. View film here
  • Terri L. French: Dusty Roads. View film here
  • Terri L. French: Shelter Dogs. View film here
  • Lidia Rozmus: Haiga of Lidia Rozmus. View film here
  • Chase Gagnon: Photo Haiku of Chase Gagnon. View film here
  • Jim Kacian: The End of Realism, or, Basho’s Pond. View film here
  • Debbie Strange: watercoloured words. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: written in mountains. View film here
  • World Haiga from Michigan State University. View film here

Video haiga

  • Debbie Strange: becoming water. View film here
  • Debbie Strange: Limned. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: Brush Dipped in the Moon. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: snowfall. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: songs of the river. View film here
  • Stella Pierides: Lake Constance. View film here
  • Corine Timmer: Life Is Beautiful. View film here

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2017

Feature format

  • Alan SummersAlan’s Haiku Journey; a documentary on his haiku life filmed by NHK (the national television company of Japan) in his hometown of Bradford-on-Avon, U.K. View film here

HaikuLife format

  • Jim KacianAnagram Mix an alt-version of 13 Ways of Looking at a Haiku [here] which riffs on Wallace Stevens’s famous theme-and-variations poem. View film here

Free format

  • Lucia FontanaChanokeburi. View film here
  • Radu Serban: Photo Haiku 2016. View film here
  • Maya LyubenovaShoshin Haiga 2016. View film here
  • Debbie StrangeThe Poetry of Birds. View film here
  • Corneliu Atanasiuthe rainy season; celebrating the winning entry in the 2008 One Thousand Cranes Contest. View film here

Video haiga

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2016

Feature format

  • Jim Kacian: Pareidolia; Kacian publicly takes the Rorschach inkblot test. View film here
  • Hesono O Productions From a  Silk Cocoon; a reminiscence of life during World War II for a nisei family, and how haiku helped them get through the hard times. Film no longer available. View information here

HaikuLife format

Free format

  • Lars Granström: a never ending furrow; a reading. View film here
  • Alan Summers: Amazement of the Ordinary; TED talk. View film here
  • Genie Nakano: Golden Fan of Menopause. View film here
  • Genie Nakano: Marry Me. View film here
  • Maya Lyubenova: Ice and Light. View film here
  • Maya Lyubenova: Ice Drawings. View film here
  • Maya Lyubenova: Wabi Sabi; three short haiga films. View film here
  • Brian Kirk: Red Line Haiku Film Poem; rambling along the Red Line of Dublin. View film here
  • Santoka; an anime treatment produced by Tokyo University of the Arts; in Japanese. View film here

Video haiga

  • Ron C. Moss: Ancient Sandstone. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss: Snow Falling. View film here
  • Dietmar Tauchner: mountain long. View film here
  • Dietmar Tauchner: Spring Walk. View film here
  • Jim Kacian: daily commute. View film here
  • Brett Brady: Foggy Autumn Lake. View film here

The HaikuLife Haiku Film Festival 2015

Feature format

  • Sean Dougherty remembering Nick Virgilio; a video encomium of the life of the pioneering American haiku poet. View film here

HaikuLife format

  • Michael Henry Lee: a haiku life; a haiku tour of St. Augustine, Florida. View film here
  • Marion Clarke: Celtic Heartbeat; a loving look at her Northern Ireland homeland. View film here
  • Stella Pierides: Haiku Journey; Alfred Wallis’s paintings of and by the sea illuminated by Pierides’s poems. View film here
  • Melissa Watkins Starr: nothing as it seems; a gathering of her haiku paired with nature photographs. View film here
  • Jim Kacian: palimpsest; a tongue-in-cheek “discovery” of the Sedona Codex. View film here
  • Towpath Haiku Society: a reading by members of the Washington, DC–area group. View film here

Free format

  • Ron C. Moss and Ferris Gilli: Alley Cats. View film here
  • Ron C. Moss and Ferris Gilli: Emerald Waves. View film here
  • Genie Nakano: Drone of the Dragon. View film here
  • Gabriel Rosenstock: Haiku Airplane. View film here
  • Ed Bremson: One Day in Spring. View film here
  • Victor Ortiz: The Breath of the Sea. View film here
  • Jessica Tremblay: The Old Pond. View film here
  • Haiku North America 2015: a report from the biennial conference. View film here
  • The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society. View film here

COMPILED BY: Jim Kacian and Haikupedia editors

ADAPTED FROM: The Haiku Foundation website

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International Haiku Poetry Day

Earthrise Rolling Haiku Collaboration

HaikuNow! International Haiku Contest

Touchstone Distinguished Books Awards

Touchstone Awards for Individual Poems

Updated on October 23, 2020