“I thought it was a joke,” Dietrich said. “I thought maybe someone was pranking me.”
Perry, who has worked on films including “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” ended up using at least 20 of Dietrich’s original poems, with “Cinder Girl” as the centerpiece, in “Six Days of Sistine,” a poetry-based movie showing at film festivals around the world.
“He said, ‘I would need to find all these different poems, like something about family, something about inspirational, something about suicide’ was one of the themes, and I’m like, ‘Yeah, I have stuff on all those things,’” Dietrich said. “I just felt very thrilled to be part of it and that he was including me.”
The 86-minute romance, which stars Jamie Campbell Bower and Elarica Johnson, tells the story of a man and woman from different countries who spend almost a week together wandering around Bath, England, according to Dietrich.
“It’s just lots of beautiful scenery and music and the poetry,” Dietrich said. “The poetry is their thoughts, like they’ll be just looking at each other or holding hands or walking around on the street, and then you’ll hear my poetry as what they’re thinking.”
Dietrich, who works as a teacher at Nomen Global Language Centers in Provo, is a top contest winner and active member of online poetry community PoetrySoup. She said “Cinder Girl” appeared at PoetrySoup as the No. 1 top read poem.
“I’m always trying to think up new poems,” Dietrich said.
“Six Days of Sistine” has already won awards at the Virgin Spring Cinefest and Calcutta International Cult Film Festival in India as well as the Olympus Film Festival in Los Angeles, according to Dietrich.
The movie also screened at the Arizona International Film Festival in April and is set to be featured later this year at the Portugal International Film Festival, New Hope Film Festival in Pennsylvania and New Vision International Film Festival in Amsterdam.
Dietrich said distribution plans for “Six Days of Sistine” will be figured out after the movie’s film festival run.
“It’s very artsy,” Dietrich said. “People that like arts and poetry will like it. … It’s just a beautiful little movie. It’s very different.”
Perry and Dietrich communicated online until they could meet officially at the Arizona International Film Festival, where they also answered questions onstage about the movie and Dietrich saw the film for the first time.
“It was very exciting for me to see the name of the movie up there on the marquee and to get the poster that was in the window,” Dietrich said. “He wrote on the back, ‘To my dear poet. Love, Richard,’ and so I’m going to have that framed and put in my house somewhere.”
Dietrich said attending the festival was “a really fun, exciting time” of her life.
“I felt very honored and very thrilled to hear my words coming out of the mouths of these people,” Dietrich said.
Being involved in this project has made Dietrich feel “honored and more confident” as a poet.
“It just made me feel good about myself and makes me want to keep doing my best and keep writing poems,” Dietrich said.
Dietrich said she thinks poetry and poets are “so important in today’s world.”
“It’s still important, but I think a lot of people don’t really recognize that,” Dietrich said. “I think it still has a place in the world, and I hope it has a resurgence. I hope it comes back strong and that it won’t be a forgotten art.”