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Lilián Pallares

Writer, Poet, Actress & Filmmaker | APFF Jury 2023

Lilián's Story

Lilián Pallares graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Production with a major in scriptwriting from the University of the North, Barranquilla, Colombia. She is author of the collection of chronicles and short stories Ciudad Sonámbula (‘Sleepwalking City’, 2010) and the poetry collections Voces Mudas (2011), Pájaro, vértigo (2014) and Bestial (2019). Her poems have been published in blackmail press, Poetry New Zealand Yearbook and Neke The New Zealand Journal of Translation Studies. Her passion for folklore and African roots, and her love of the word led her to create her show Afrolyrics, which unites poetry, dance, the oral storytelling tradition and world percussion. In 2020 she formed part of the cast in the role of Charito Alarcón for the Cuban zarzuela Cecilia Valdés in the Teatro de la Zarzuela, Madrid, directed by Carlos Wagner. Alongside Charles Olsen she runs the audiovisual production company antenablue making award-winning poetry films and facilitating writing and filmmaking workshops.


(2023) Silencio gris / Grey Silence, poet: Gissel Orellana
(2023) A-Dentro / In-Side, poet: Dayana Jiménez
(2020) Noho Mai, poet: Peta-Maria Tunui, directors: Peta-Maria Tunui, Waitahi Aniwaniwa
McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Jesse-Ana Harris Lilián Pallares, and Charles Olsen
(2020) Llanto Congelado / Frozen Cry, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2019) Catarsis / Catharsis, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2019) Viento Soplao / Whispering Wind, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2017) Cuerpos de Agua / Water Bodies, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2017) Lucas, poet: Charles Olsen
(2015) Alba / Dawn, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2014) Pequeña Muerte / A Little Death, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2014) Libro de Huellas / Book of Traces, poet: Ángel Guinda
(2014) Y Sonó la Alarma / And the Alarm Rang, poet: Lilián Pallares
(2012) Besos Rotos / Broken Kisses, poet: Lilián Pallares

About Lilián

Why you are interested in judging the film festival?

As well as international poetry films, it is very enriching for me to see other ways of creating poetry film in New Zealand, a country whose poetry I am coming to know through working on translations and stylistic corrections of some wonderful poems for an anthology in Spanish of New Zealand poets. As a judge we take time with the films, watching them a number of times and considering various aspects of the work. It is a very rewarding process being able to discuss our perceptions together as well as share my passion for, and experience of, poetry film.

Your favourite poetry film of all time?

Maybe I’m not so objective in this instance but I have chosen a poetry film I have a deep emotional connection to. Charles Olsen made The Calm Sea together with my niece Mia Gill. With Mia living in the United States we regularly had videocalls. She was seven years old and wasn’t able to go to school due to the pandemic so during these calls we did activities to encourage her storytelling and creativity. She wrote the poem spontaneously during one of these calls based on five words that I told her – she didn’t even wait for me to explain what to do! When she came to Spain for a holiday after the pandemic Charles was able to make the film with her while working on art activities, so it was very organic process.

Your current favourite poetry film or anything you are currently working on:

We filmed one of our most recent pieces during a month-long poetry fellowship Charles Olsen and I received at the Our Little Roses orphanage for girls in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. We gave creative poetry workshops in a school and ran a poetry club with the girls in the home. During a ‘poetry walk’ around the grounds the girls noted their impressions of each stop before writing their poems. One of these was Silencio gris, or Grey Silence, by Gissel Orellana, which we decided to turn into a poetry film with the girls. Rather than creating a script, we were led by the girls and made the film with them based on their everyday activities. We are excited that Grey Silence has been selected for the ZEBRINO Award for the Best Poetry Film for Children and Youth, ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, Berlin, 2023.

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