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What is Elías Querejeta Zinema Eskola?

Elías Querejeta Zinema Eskola is an international centre for thinking, research, experimental practice and pedagogical innovation based around the present, past and future of cinema. Created and financed by Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, the School is opening with a regenerative spirit: its ultimate purpose is not to train technical staff by following traditional training models, but to encourage the emergence of filmmakers with a comprehensive vision of cinema who are able to produce new realities on film and to provide fresh reflections on filmmaking theory and practice.


Why is EQZE a different kind of film school?

There are a lot of film schools, but none of them has the unique characteristics of EQZE. Its unique nature is due to four reasons: its origins, its philosophy of cinema, its pedagogical Project and its location. The origins of Elías Querejeta Zinema Eskola are utterly unique. EQZE is taking shape based on the fields of knowledge of the three film institutions that are taking part in its conceptualisation on the initiative of Gipuzkoa Provincial Council: the Basque Film Archive, the San Sebastián Film Festival and Tabakalera, International Centre for Contemporary Culture. As a result it benefits from the dynamic cultural and professional ecosystem at Tabakalera, which makes it easier for its agents to pass on their knowledge and experience. At the same time, the school provides this steady flow of links with the respite and distance offered by study, the experimental practice and prefiguration of future cinema, and an international teaching staff. The unique nature of its origins and location, its idea of cinema and its teaching project make this centre an exceptional case internationally, which doesn’t prevent it, for the same reasons, from aspiring to become an aesthetic and professional laboratory for Basque cinema


Which idea of cinema lies behind EQZE?

Specialised training has often led to a certain kind of neutrality in teaching cinema, in which it seemed that the only thing that mattered was to definitively adapt professionals to meet the demands of the market. At the opposite extreme, this is a school that stands for an idea of cinema that is passionate and close-to-life, with a clear aim to experiment and revitalise society. EQZE wishes to share and develop a comprehensive unitary vision of the past, present and future of cinema. We like to refer to EQZE as precisely the school of the three tenses of cinema, because the three institutions that worked together to set it up aim to study and work, precisely, on the past (Film Archive), the present (the Festival) and future of creative cinema (Tabakalera). We imagine a single kind of cinema, without genres or classifications, but at the same time we consider the many ways of being a filmmaker. Because being a filmmaker nowadays does not just consist of creating images but also of making visible the images that existed, already exist and will exist.


What is the teaching programme at EQZE??

The institutions that have collaborated in setting up the school are not teaching institutions but film institutions. This is why the school that they are promoting is also basically a film project: an idea of cinema that is taking shape as a pedagogical project. This is the reason why EQZE does not have a range of training programmes, but a single educational project made up of three postgraduate programmes: Film Preservation Studies, Film Curating Studies and Filmmaking Studies. As a whole, these three postgraduate courses identify and define our idea of cinema.


What is the Film Preservation Studies speciality?

The Film Preservation Studies speciality poses the (theoretical, technical and ethical) dilemmas for students that cinema raises as a material and immaterial heritage. As well as tackling all those aspects related to identifying images and sounds on photochemical, magnetic and digital media, the speciality provides the tools for managing existing collections and creating new ones. The course will provide access to protocols and procedures for revising, preserving and restoring materials, using both mechanical and digital tools.


What is the Film Curating Studies speciality?

The Film Curating Studies speciality aims to define the specific nature of the work carried out by audio-visual curators which has excellent future prospects. The speciality provides access to the entire torrent of theoretical knowledge, partly inherited from the plastic arts, which film curating is based on, as well as access to the various programming traditions and schools. As well as cultivating the particular criteria and vision of each participant, the course provides the tools to develop film projects from the conception to the implementation phase. The speciality also encourages curating research, criticism, essay- writing and academic work. We understand that there can be no curating work without research, as rigorous and profound as the research that can be carried out in the academic world, but which in this case is given concrete form in a public project (an exhibition, catalogue, programme or festival…), not in a scientific text.


What is the Filmmaking Studies speciality?

The Filmmaking Studies speciality focuses on the theoretical and methodological training, as well as practical research, of anyone interested in making films or artistic audio-visual work. In this way the speciality basically deals with all those aspects linked to the conception, experimentation, development and implementation processes of a piece of work, and the search by the filmmaker to find a voice of their own through theoretical training about non-standardised cinema.


Why do we talk about radical pedagogy?

At EQZE we understand that the aim of training filmmakers must be constantly reflected on and questioned. In actual fact the school itself is the primary expression of the critical spirit that it is based on, because it is framed as an open pedagogical project in permanent progress. We believe in a school that is venturing into the complex permanent art of a (theoretical, emotional, experimental, practical) quest starting with itself, as a living community that is gradually taking shape through a radical pedagogical approach and the active commitment of all the agents involved in it. One of the vital aspects of the pedagogical project is that it breaks down vertical and horizontal barriers (inside and outside the film school), so that citizens can get actively involved through open sessions in the creative training debate at the school itself. EQZE aims to be a collective experience (of the academic but also the social community). However it is also an individual journey, as it devises individualised pathways for each student. It is only one school, but has as many kinds of teaching as students. Because if each individual is different, why create a school that is the same for everyone?


What is the methodology at EQZE like?

EQZE implements a pedagogical methodology that combines research, a passionate experience of filmmaking, experimental practice and the dissolution of vertical categories, between the professional and amateur realms, and horizontal ones between cinema and other creative disciplines. The training at EQZE is based on reflection, experimental practice and professional work, and follows a series of cycles or modules lasting five weeks that close on themselves, yet at the same time further the students’ in-depth artistic research and personal quest.


What are the classes like?

The teaching area includes core subjects in the three specialities, specific subjects in each speciality, as well as common meetings with filmmakers and guests, master classes, workshops, lectures and seminars. It also includes the programme at the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera which is interlinked with the calendar of the three specialities. The teaching team is made up of renowned film professionals in the three specialisation areas with a markedly international profile. Some of the professionals from the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera also take part in the teaching because we conceive of the school as a space for passing on the everyday experience at these institutions. Most of the teaching is concentrated in the first term of the academic year and altogether amounts to a minimum of 500 classroom hours.

Do students carry out professional practical training at the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera?

Yes, this is permanently structured around teaching throughout the year. The fact that EQZE occupies the same building as the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera ensures this level of flexibility and permanent contact. The professional area (or transit areas) includes the practical training that will be carried out at the three institutions. Given that the professional training will be carried out in the same school building, the aim is for it to be totally flexible and to take place in parallel to teaching. In this way relations between the school and the professional institutions are smooth-flowing, transparent, and permanently interconnected. Students will carry out a minimum of 100 hours of professional or practical training.


What is the personal project or Hypothesis?

If we had to somehow define EQZE as far as its unique pedagogical nature is concerned, it would be as a project school: a school that projects the future ideas of its students. The personal project that structures the course appears to be the comprehensive implementation of this personal and cinematic projection of each student towards the future. The Project area or Hypothesis covers the development of projects that all students must carry out, regardless of their speciality, and that they will have to defend at the end of the year in a public session and before a specific tribunal. All the projects will have a tutor, depending on the speciality, and the needs and affinities of those taking part in the training.


When will the 2018-2019 course start?

The next course will begin on September 2018, coinciding with the San Sebastian International Film Festival.


How long will the course last?

This course consists of 56 weeks of onsite teaching. The months between the start of the Festival and mid-June focus on the taught part of the course, the personal project and work placement. The summer phase principally focuses on work placement and author workshops for Filmmaking Studies students. In addition there is a period set aside for completing and defending the personal projects in December of that year. This is a period of no contact hours, during which students are expected to finish their projects.


How is the academic year structured?

The teaching part consists of six modules. Each module lasts between five and seven weeks, is an individual unit and has its own teaching structure. All the activities during the period covered by a module revolve around a common, central theme for each speciality. Between each module there is a week without lessons or classroom contact hours that is set aside for personal work and work placement activities. There are core subjects for all three specialities, specific subjects for each speciality, and common meetings, conferences and seminars. There is a minimum of 500 classroom contact hours. During the course, students will spend a minimum of 100 hours on placement in the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera. The projects of all three programmes are presented publicly and for evaluation through the Hypothesis project in and around December.


How much does it cost to enrol?

The cost  of the registration in the 2018-2019 Course is 3,500 euros.


What is the student profile like?

Elias Querejeta Film school is conceived as a centre for postgraduate study with a high level of professional specialisation. It is the perfect place for anyone wishing to carry out an experiential and intellectual examination of cinema and explore new lines of work. The teaching plan at the school is conceived for students who have already completed a higher education degree (Humanities, Communication and Fine Arts, but also, for example, Chemistry or Documentation for the Film Preservation Studies speciality), or have graduated from a film school or for candidates who, although they do not meet the essential requirements, do have proven film experience. Particularly in the Filmmaking Studies speciality, the profile matches students who want to work on and develop their first professional project in a highly demanding context. As for the other specialities, the prior education requirements for students are similar and they will also be required to present one or more personal projects.


What is the profile of the teaching staff?

The teaching staff comprises film industry professionals of international renown in the three areas of specialisation. Experts from the Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera are also involved, because this school was conceived as a vehicle for transferring the everyday knowledge and experience of these organisations.


Is the EQZE qualification officially recognised?

No, it isn’t. Making a play on words, we could say that this school doesn’t offer academic credits but creates film credits. The Film Archive, the Festival and Tabakalera are not teaching institutions; they are film institutions. That is why the school is not strictly speaking a teaching project either, it’s a film enterprise that takes the form of a school: a kind of transit area between training and professional life.


Can i enrol in more than one speciality?

No, but the school is designed so that everyone can plan their own pathway; that is, so they can choose, as well as the subjects in their own speciality, a certain number of credits in others specialities. In this respect, everyone that enrols at EQZE can define a unique personal pathway.


Is there a limited number of places?

Yes, the number of places is limited (15 people for each speciality) and may vary from one year to the next. Candidates are chosen by a selection process.


How can I contact EQZE?

To clear up any doubts you can call to (+34) 943 545 005 or send an email to


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