About The Project

Version is a bi-annual festival of specially commissioned short adaptations, drawn from published poetry and short fiction from the North of England. The first festival took place in November 2009, and an intermediary screening will be held this November (2010), with the festival returning at full steam in autumn 2011. Version is a continuation of various adaptation projects coordinated over the last two years by Literature Northwest and Comma Film – the audio-visual strand of Manchester’s award-winning Comma Press

The aim of the project is to nurture an appreciation of narrative among developing filmmakers and to reassert the importance of the writer in the filmmaking process. Young directors and animators have been encouraged to engage directly with literary texts at the start of their careers – an opportunity not normally open to them because of publishing and authorial copyright. As a publisher, Comma has been able to bypass this obstacle by negotiating author permissions as part of the commissioning process, not only among its own authors but – through Literature Northwest, a network of independent publishers – among authors from across the region.

The process has been a two-tier one. Comma began by commissioning a series of short ‘poem-films’: 1-5min visual realisations of unabridged poems, read or performed by actors or the poets themselves. These were coordinated as a series of low or no-budget ‘challenges’ in conjunction with smaller festivals in the Northwest. More recently Comma has stepped up the process, working with the best of the poem-film directors to develop longer short story adaptations (5-20min films).

The best of this initial work was brought together for the first time in 2009, alongside a raft of new ‘challenge’ films and four specially funded short story commissions, for the first edition of Version.

Thus year Comma Film has hosted a new poem-film challenge for the intermediary screening in Nov 2010, and plans to return next year with another batch of specially commissioned short story adaptations, as well other low budget film-challenges. The objective, year on year, to to provide a mechanism for finding and promoting filmmaking talent; commissioning new directors and animators to work on larger and larger projects, and to provide high quality narrative content for filmmakers to work with. See How To Take Part for more details

Previous Films

Appearances and awards for Comma’s adaptations to date:

When the Telescope Came, Kate Jessop

Winner – London Short Film Festival Femme Fantastique Prize

Desires, Kate Jessop

Shortlisted – Virgin Media Prize, 2008
Best of Birds Eye View (March 07)
Film de Femme (Paris, March 07)
Britspotting (Berlin, April 07)
St John’s International Film Festival (Canada, Oct 07).
WIFTI (Women in Film and Television International) touring programme in over 20 cities, including New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto, International Women’s Day, Mar 08.

Archaeology, Lisa Risbec

Magma Film Festival, Sicily, Sep 08
Bochum International VideoFest, Germany July 09

Five Miles Out, Andrew Haigh

Berlin Film Festival, Feb 09
Edinburgh Film Festival, Aug 09
Nashville Film Festival
Atlanta Film Festival
Viewfinders, Nova Scotia
Maryland Film Festival
Mediawave, Hungary

The Dogs, Ronald Wright

Portobello Film Festival, London, Sep 09
Leeds International Film Festival, Nov 09

The Loss, Kate Jessop

Brancharge Film Festival, Oct 09
Raindance Film Festival, Oct 09

See the full terms and conditions wrt taking part.


Version Film Festival is sponsored by Lion Eyes

Festival & Commission Partner Futureworks

With support from The Granada Foundation

Organised by Comma Press