Presentation of Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola film school in Madrid
The Doré Cinema (Spanish Film Archive) in Madrid was the venue this morning for the presentation of the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE) film school. The school has been set up and funded by the Culture Department of the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa. It will act as an international centre for film research, educational innovation and experimentation.
The school’s director, Carlos Muguiro, says that “EQZE is project extends the concept of the film-maker to everyone working on the present, past and future of cinema”
The school’s first public activities will take place in October with a programme of activities on home movie heritage and an international seminar on anonymous cinema
The Doré Cinema (Spanish Film Library) in Madrid was the venue this morning for the presentation of the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE) film school. The school has been set up and funded by the Provincial Government of Gipuzkoa. It will act as an international centre for film research, educational innovation and experimentation.
Carlos Muguiro, director of the EQZE, was joined by Gipuzkoa’s Deputy of Culture, Denis Itxaso and the heads of the three other institutions involved in developing the project: Joxean Fernández, director of the Basque Film Archive; Ane Rodríguez, head of the Tabakalera cultural project; and José Luis Rebordinos, director of the San Sebastian film festival. Addressing an audience of nearly 150, Muguiro said “The way we make and see has been utterly transformed. The time has come to devise new approaches to film education, at a remove from the urgency of making films but open to the need to make cinema to think, touch, conserve, restore, imagine, smell, re-see, schedule, remember, reassemble, keep and screen it”.
The event was attended by a large group of filmmakers, including Gracia Querejeta, Montxo Armendáriz, Jonás Trueba, Fernando Franco, Félix Viscarret and Sergio Oksman The audience heard details of the three post-graduate courses (Archiving, Curating and Creation) and the structure of the school curriculum. The first course will begin in September 2018. In the area of research and dissemination, Muguiro said that the EQZE would be working in conjunction with the Istituto Internazionale Andreij Tarkovskij on investigation, restoration and propagation of 90 hours of recordings of film classes by Andrei Tarkovsky, found earlier this year. The centre will be launched with a programme of public activities centring on a reassessment of the world of home movies. The highpoint of the season will be an international seminar on the idea of anonymity and an exploration of amateur cinema, “nameless” films and the concept of authorship.
Denis Itxaso said, “we want this project to act as a seed of culture and cinema, for new creators and professionals, for films and audio-visual works we can enjoy and be moved by. We hope that the ECEQ can contribute by promoting and developing professionals and works who will represent for their time what Elías Querejeta was for his, making Gipuzkoa a recognised agent in this field. We believe that culture, cinema and audio-visual creation can enrich society from every perspective”.
The school of the three tenses of cinema
EQZE envisages one cinema but many ways of making films. The school has a single —and singular— educational project, comprising three individual paths for each student: Archive (studies on classification, restoration and conservation of cinematographic and audio-visual heritage), Curating (studies on the conceptualisation and development of film and audio-visual curating projects.) and Creation (studies on film creation, based on experimental practice and a search for a singular cinematographic voice). As Muguiro says, “The EQZE project involves extending the concept of the film-maker to everyone working on the present, past and future of cinema [...] We address the arts of the three times of cinema”.
The specific curriculum for each of the three strands is further divided into another three areas. These are the teaching area, internships (in different departments of the Basque Film Library, the San Sebastian Film Festival and the Tabakalera cultural project) and the personal project. Together they combine deliberation, experience in the world of cinema, direct contact with the professional world and experimentation. It is here that Ane Rodríguez sees the relationship between the Tabakalera cultural project and the school developing. The creation of EQZE, she says, “means the arrival of a new partner with which we can work to promote contemporary creation, through a search for new languages and new forms of education”.
Each year’s course will begin in the third week of September on the same day as the San Sebastian Festival and will conclude at the end of the following year’s festival. Festival director José Luis Rebordinos says that “the festival should communicate to students at the EQZE an attitude of continuous construction. At the same time, the school can interrogate the festival and help it in its own process of reflection and transformation”. The idea of book-ending the course between two festivals, one at the start of the academic year and another at the end, is just one of the features that make the school so special.
In the next few weeks, applications will open for registration on the course. The enrolment fee is €3,500. Places on the course are limited to a maximum of 45 students.
One of the essential components of the school's identity is the inculcation of research habits. We consider that eliciting and conveying a passion for “not knowing” (and a desire to explore new scientific, creative, social and intellectual paths related to the world of film) is inseparable from the process of transmitting accumulated knowledge. “For the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola, investigation is a way of living film” says Carlos Muguiro. It is “a real working methodology which engages and requires the involvement of students, teachers and people working in the field”.
As part of this approach, EQZE has embarked on a project entitled “Tarkovsky's Lost Lessons”, in collaboration with the Istituto Internazionale Andreij Tarkovskij in Florence. This follows the extraordinary discovery of 90 hours of recordings of film lessons given by Andrei Tarkovsky at the Moscow Film School between 1975 and 1981. The tapes were found in the archive of one of Tarkovsky’s closest collaborators. The Russian film-maker addresses a wide range of themes related to film-making, including aesthetic, ethical, philosophical and psychological issues, interspersed with reflections on film theory and practice.
The EQZE will be the only institution in Spain participating in the project of researching, restoring and disseminating the audio recordings. The school will disseminate the material at a series of symposia.
Exploration of amateur and anonymous film
To coincide with International Home Movie Day on 21 October and the World Day for Audio-Visual Heritage on 27 October, the school will receive amateur material in different formats. The footage will be examined, checked and, where appropriate, digitised for better conservation in collaboration with the Basque Film Library. As Joxean Fernández, director of the BFL explains, “conservation is a question of past and future, of finding a proper place for memory and art. This requires specific training —which is in short supply— and an almost ritual transmission. For this, we need to create specific spaces and times”. A selection of the material will be screened at events to be held on 20 and 21 October. The complete programme will be presented in the coming weeks.
EQZE has chosen this programme to launch its public activities and it hopes to convey the anthropological, cultural and artistic importance of this heritage. The programme will conclude the following week (26, 27 and 28 October) with an international seminar on Stories (and aesthetics) of anonymous cinema. This will focus on the idea of anonymity and an exploration of amateur cinema, “nameless” films and the notion of authorship. More details will be published in the coming weeks. The seminar will attract specialists, conservators, visual artists, film-makers and scholars working on ‘orphan’ cinema and the secrets of the archives. All sessions will combine lectures with short screenings.
Click here to see more pictures (Pedro P. Jiménez)