POETRY FILMS: Art + Medicine



A still image from "On Lockdown"

When the Center for the Art of Medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School came calling during Covid-19, Todd's film brand Motionpoems responded.


Dr. Jon Hallberg needed poetry films on wellness themes for his two-time regional Emmy-winning "Art + Medicine" program series for Twin Cities Public Television. The first film in the series, Calum Macdiarmid's adaptation of Todd's poem, "On Lockdown," is viewable below. "Art + Medicine" won a regional Emmy and has since been picked up for distribution by American Public Television. The motionpoems for the series are guest produced by Dr. Hallberg and Roxanne Artesona.

The series was initiated to support caregivers and encourage a plagued world, but has since evolved to include a range of health and wellness themes.


For example, a later film in the Art + Medicine series is Zack Grant's adaptation of Joyce Sutphen's poem "Morning Walk," a meditation on Parkinson's Disease narrated by and featuring Grant's own Parkinson's-afflicted mother.

Featured in Shoot ("The Best Work You May Never See"), Shots, and Ads of Brands, the film turned heads in the shorts community.



As the poem so perfectly states, people with Parkinson's want to be remembered

“from the inside out," seen but not pitied, considered but not treated

as "less than." This film honors that request, equally celebrating reality

and the things we do to cope with reality.

— Zack Grant, filmmaker



Todd welcomes other co-production partners, in any industry, to tap the power of poetry and film to engage audiences and constituents on relevant, timely social issues. Co-producing with Todd's Motionpoems brand demonstrates a level of intellectual sophistication and creative credibility that elevates brands and electrifies communities.



I have a mandate to integrate the arts into clinical or self-care practice

to deepen empathy, encourage curiosity, promote creative thinking,

and embody the joy of practice. I can think of no better partner than Motionpoems.

 Dr. Jon Hallberg, Director, Center for the Art of Medicine



There's poetry for any theme. A worldwide network of filmmakers is standing by to recharge campaigns, conferences, and communications. Whatever the goal—laughter, healing, instruction, empathy, appreciation—Motionpoems is here. Contact Motionpoems for a conversation about what's possible.

Was it odd to have a doctor call ME during a pandemic? Yeah. But it stands to reason. Too often in a culture that overvalues economics, poetry is seen as ancillary to the human enterprise, but when the chips are down, we remember that we're more than cogs in the wheels of commerce, we're the stuff of poetry and music and wonder and dreams.


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