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Collaborative te reo poetry film in VII Festival Cinemística, Spain

14 Nov 2021
The poetry film Noho Mai has travelled to Granada in Spain for the VII Festival Cinemística

Written by

Charles Olsen
May 14, 2023

The collaborative te reo Māori poetry film Noho Mai, created as part of an online writing and film workshop run by New Zealanders, Charles Olsen and Peta-Maria Tunui, and the Colombian writer Lilián Pallares, during the Covid-19 confinement in Spain and Aotearoa New Zealand, was shown on 10 November 2021 in VII Festival Cinemística, Granada, in the screening 'Esculpiendo el silencio' (Sculpting the Silence), alongside films from Spain, Japan, Indonesia and Germany. Cinemística is 'a competition dedicated to transcendental cinema, in its mulitple meanings, including philosophic, psychological, scientific, anthropological, spiritual and poetic cinema. Transcendence, in man and the world, might eventually become ineffable and, in this regard, cinematographic art has certain advantages and a huge responsibility.'

A competition dedicated to transcendental cinema, in its mulitple meanings, including philosophic, psychological, scientific, anthropological, spiritual and poetic cinema.

This year's edition 'Los alrededores del silencio' (The Surroundings of Silence) includes 70 films and runs throughout the month of November. The theme includes 'Films about external and internal silence, about the paradoxes of language, the before and after of action, the silence which precedes and follows spoken outcomes.' In addition to retrospectives, tributes and colloquiums on the theme of sound in the art of cinema, the festival has three competitive sections:

  • Cinema: Art cinema, experimental films, research, auteur cinema.
  • Anthropological Week: Ethnographic films, visual anthropology in its broadest sense.
  • Children's cinema: Films designed for viewers between the ages of 3 and 11.

One of the film's directors, Charles Olsen, who is based in Madrid, travelled to Granada for the presentation and was invited to talk about the creation of Noho Mai following the screening, alongside festival director Manuel Polls Pelaz and sculptor and professor in Fine Arts, Víctor Borrego. Although it is the first time he has participated in the festival, Charles has previously visited Granada and comments, 'It is a beautiful city to visit, with the Alhambra, the Albaicín and Sacramonte neighbourhoods, the elegant city centre and tree-lined rivers. When I arrived, I went for a walk up to the Alhambra and was captivated by the gurgling of water running down both sides of the path in pebbled channels. You can appreciate how Cinemística with it's theme 'The Surroundings of Silence' appears to have grown out of the city itself.

'I also enjoyed walks along the River Genil with views of the Sierra Nevada in the distance, visiting the exhibition 'Sight and Touch (ca. 1929-30)' in the Federico García Lorca Centre, or just sitting on a terrace in the autumnal sunshine with a coffee and a book. When we were creating Noho Mai none of us had any idea it would travel to all these festivals and I'm happy that despite the pandemic we have been able to accompany it to at least some of them.'


Noho Mai premiered in New Zealand at the Wairoa Māori Film Festival in October 2020 and has since travelled to Berlin, Cork (Winning Best Poetry Film in the Ó Bhéal International Poetry Film Competition), Honolulu, Athens, Auckland, Ōtaki, Barcelona, Madrid, and has been featured in the project Love in the Time of Covid edited by Witi Ihimaera and Michelle Elvy, where you can read about and watch the film.

Still from Noho Mai.


DIRECTORS Peta-Maria Tunui, Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee, Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Jesse-Ana Harris, Lilián Pallares, Charles Olsen  POEM Peta-Maria Tunui  VOICE Shania Bailey-Edmonds  ACTORS Shania Bailey-Edmonds, Peta-Maria Tunui, Jesse-Ana Harris, Charles Olsen  EDITOR Charles Olsen  PRODUCER Antenablue  FIELD CAMERAS Waitahi Aniwaniwa McGee, Ikey Ihaka Tunui, Charles Olsen  AERIAL CAMERA Ash Robinson  TAONGA PUORO Salvador Brown  COLOMBIAN GAITA Charles Olsen  KARANGA Peta-Maria Tunui  SOUND MIX Charles Olsen  ENGLISH TRANSLATION Peta-Maria Tunui  FILMED IN Aotearoa–New Zealand: Te Whanganui-a-Tara, Waitaha, Te Tai Rāwhiti, and Spain: Madrid, Soria

Festival Cinemística
Love in the Time of Covid
Centro Federico García Lorca