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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

The speciality basically deals with aspects linked to the conception, development and implementation processes of a piece of work, and the search by the filmmaker to find a voice of their own. It offers theoretical training about non-standardised cinema; and the chance to take part in a rich environment that favours reflection and creative thought and develop a personal project through a personalised tutoring system, in accordance with the affinities of each student and the needs of their project. In this way, the speciality confronts students with conception processes (subjectivity), working methodologies (systematisation), experimentation (formal specific search) and the conceptualisation and implementation of projects.

Laida Lertxundi
Coordinator of the Department of Filmmaking Studies

Laida Lertxundi is an artist, filmmaker and currently teaches Fine Arts and Humanities at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena after having given classes at the University of California San Diego and at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), where she took a Master’s degree in Fine Arts. Her work, shot mainly on 16 mm, moves between internal spaces of intimacy and the large scale of great open landscapes, with the aim of encompassing a geography transformed by subjectivity and affective states. Her work has been shown at festivals and galleries all over the world: only in the last few years at the Museum of Modern Art (New York), CICC Tabakalera, Tate Modern (London), Havana Biennial and Temporary Gallery (Cologne), among others, and at prestigious biennials such as L.A. Hammer Biennial (Los Angeles), The Lyon Biennial and Whitney Biennial (New York).

Your film: let people feel the heart and soul there, but let it be made like handwork (Robert Bresson, Notes on the cinematographer).

“The Filmmaking Studies speciality conceives of cinema as an art form and understands documentaries, fiction, video art and experimental film as a continuum. We use analogue formats on celluloid at the same time as digital and sound formats to create work that can be shown at festivals and in installations, in museums or galleries and in various other spaces.

In this intensive one-year course students come into direct contact with active local and international filmmakers and artists from various generations who develop pedagogical proposals based on their own work and methodology. The priority for the teaching team is always the work produced by students. Going beyond the classic hierarchy of passing on knowledge from maestro to disciple, we establish a kind of collaborative pedagogy in which teachers teach as artists and not just as academics".


Laida Lertxundi

Practical research in making films or artistic audio-visual work

  Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5

Core Subjects 

The map of the (three) archives  History of the materiality of cinema  The filmmaker's thinking: practice and theory  The sound point of view The spectator-filmmaker

Module details 

States of perception Randomness versus control Structures Paradoxes Estrangement

Main subjects 

Film director without the camera  Photochemical Lab Facing up
pictures and
Construction of (audio-visual) universes Identification and
  The camera and objects. Project 0 The visual and audio
construction of scenes
A cinematic quest 16 mm optical
The body and cinema
  Sounding out the dream: sound and dreams Randomness vs Control  Articulations and explora-tions of time   Construction of emotion and desire


Materiality of images

Meeting, optative subjects and other events 

Histories of cinema


Critique and analysis sessions

Histories of cinema


Critique and analysis sessions 

Histories of cinema


Critique and analysis sessions 

Histories of cinema


Critique and analysis sessions 

Histories of cinema


Critique and analysis sessions 

Tabakalera programme          


Common Subjects

  • The map of the (three) archives

    The cinematographic and audio-visual archive is today a vast and extensive territory that demands the attention of research, conservation and creation professionals. It is by no means a static storage area, but rather a territory which, depending on why it is approached, offers different readings and possibilities of intervention. The subject poses the possibility that students of EQZE assume their role (creator, researcher, curator) as an exploration of the cinematographic and audio-visual memory.

  • History of the materiality of cinema

    There are as many cinemas as (not only optical but also haptic) materialities of cinema. This subject proposes an approach to the filmmaker based on his/her materiality to unravel not only the most relevant technological milestones, but also the ways in which the materiality of the image has contributed to generate specific artistic discourses. The subject will focus initially on the materiality (resolution, texture, colour) of the sensitive photochemical material and then progressively look at other magnetic and digital types of audio-visual media.

  • The filmmaker's thinking: practice and theory

    An approach to the theory of creation by filmmakers before or after their films: as a film project or as a reflection on the work itself. In all cases, the theory of filmmakers seeks an approach to the fundamental aesthetic dilemmas of the medium and a reading of cinematographic thinking away from traditional methodologies. Accordingly, the subject also looks at purely intuitive and non-reflective approaches, contrary to the rationalization of creation.

  • The sound point of view

    Analysis of sound in cinema, looking for connections with other contemporary manifestations of sound, such as music and art, but also with the sound dimension of everyday life.

  • No more films

    In a world in which our visual palate is constantly being bombarded with an overdose of images, it is more urgent than ever to question the relevance of any new cinematographic production. What can we do to ensure that our efforts do not give rise to just ‘one more film’? Does our story/idea really need to be turned into a film, or would another artistic genre be more suitable? Based on disciplines outside the film world, such as literature or comic books, this workshop aims to analyse strategies for both inspiring a story and articulating its main thread, creating offerings rooted in highly personal experiences or autobiographies, or using a more literary approach.

  • Aesthetics of reception

    Thinking about cinema from reception does not imply doing so based on the box office results of a film or its audience, but rather on the role played by viewers in the complete meaning of any film. Their active or passive role, the place given to them in the film, the processes of identification and distance, the generation of estrangement and the mechanisms of emotion and empathy are all essential components of cinematographic creation examined in the subject. The subject questions all these matters because, in short, to think cinema from the point of view of reception means to assume that there is no filmmaker who is not, first and foremost, an active viewer.

  • Basque film: a cinematography with tradition, an emerging cinematography

    This course suggests an approach to Basque film. Beginning with an historical contextualization in order to provide the background of the birth and development of Basque film up to the present time, it will carry out a chronological and thematic review of the history of Basque film and will present the most notable Basque filmmakers from its origins to the present day, with particularly close attention to the three (or more) generations of Basque filmmakers who are currently active.

  • Basque film: a cinematography with tradition, an emerging cinematography

    This course suggests an approach to Basque film. Beginning with an historical contextualization in order to provide the background of the birth and development of Basque film up to the present time, it will carry out a chronological and thematic review of the history of Basque film and will present the most notable Basque filmmakers from its origins to the present day, with particularly close attention to the three (or more) generations of Basque filmmakers who are currently active.

Itinerary subjects

  • The human body and cinema

    The human body is a structural feature for films, not only for narrative and dramatical reasons, but also due to the nomenclature of shots and other planning orders and indications. This means that the unit of measurement for a full shot or a close-up is always the human body. The subject is based on this idea of the body as a structural feature of films, opening up the possibility of cinema exploring the body from both the physical and psychological standpoint.

  • Photochemical lab

    This subject addresses photochemical material during the processing phase. Students must have knowledge of the treatments and chemical modifications the material undergoes in order to comprehend its aesthetic properties and deterioration. Material filmed in-house at the school will be processed.

  • Film director without the camera

    Each student confronts and sizes up reality. No need for any camera – this subject is mostly addressed outside the classroom, and it sets out to enable seeing and hearing mechanisms, inculcate habits of observation and ponderings on reality. This section of the course will feature physical and landscaped routes to put the tools for plumbing the depths of reality into practice.

  • Identification and otherness

    Immersion in the structures (narrative, compositional, dramatical, musical) that make up a work fabricated over a period of time. This subject touches on the most canonical narration models, and also explores other more poetic structural criteria such as haiku and musical harmony. Although it is traditionally felt that structure is the tool of scriptwriters, the subject broadens to make it the focus of the work of directors, not as creators of images, but of shapes.

  • Films and painting. Films and other images

    The relationship of films with other iconic images in painting, comics and illustrated novels.

  • Viewpoints and the visual and audio construction of scenes

    This subject specifically addresses construction of film scenes, on the basis that all scenes arise from a confrontation with what cannot be represented (excessive, unencompassable nature). Thus, on the basis of this specific case, it delves deep into an articulation of the viewpoint.

  • Randomness vs. control: an approach to planning

    Dichotomy between control and randomness, as two extremes that can be used to arrange, structure, choreograph and regulate film staging. In the course of the week issues will be addressed in connection with the conception of the image as the implementation of an idea or a search for an image. Certain aspects are discussed in relation to planning, composition and construction of a sequence, and means of improvisation.

  • Articulations and explorations of time

    Introduction to the concept of cinematographic time in all its variables: as the ability to fashion objective time, and also on the basis of the different perceptions of time by spectators, the management of rhythmic components and musical criteria. The theoretical and practical objective of this section is to generate cinematographic experiences which include all the structural and phenomenological variables in connection with time.

  • Materiality of images

    A reflection on the shapes of images on the basis of their strict materiality. In this specific case, students will work with cinematographic material only (photochemical supports).

  • The camera and objects

    Subjectivity, intuition, observing through the camera. Individual shoot of a 16 mm film with camera set-up. This material will be used in Module 2 for the other two specialities: development and handling the reels, and making arrangements for curatorship of the films at a session curatored by students in the discipline concerned.

  • Portraits: explorations of faces and expressions

    Approach another filmmaker’s cinematographic work in progress to provide one’s own perspective and delve deeper into a quest that is already underway. The students will choose a sequence (or design a derivative version of a sequence, or create an unwritten sequence that they wish to explore) to film with an actor. This process, which does not aim to produce a final result and whose fruits will not be shown outside the forum of the classroom, will make it possible to share a polyphonic perspective on a script, on a character and on working with an actor. The single objective is to explore the personal perspective of each filmmaker by playing with other people’s material, rediscovering it, shaping it, trying to enter another from within oneself.

  • Construction/control of desire and emotion

    Identification, lost in one’s thoughts, the projection of emotion, distance and desire are components which have always played an active role in the psychological machinery of a film. Whether this is due to activation of these projection mechanisms or to the fact that they are questioned, films have been systematically compelled to resolve the dilemmas of this second projection: not by the projector, but by the vision machinery. This subject examines the issues of dual projection from both the perspective of viewers and from the perspective of creation.

  • The body of edition

    A look at film editing as a way of developing creative audiovisual writing, a privileged place for becoming aware of the multiple creative possibilities offered by the links between pictures and sounds.

  • Construction of audio universes

    This subject specifically addresses all phases of the design and construction of audio universes: ideation, work criteria, relations with images, gestation of projects on the basis of sound, mixing etc.

  • The shot and the word

    Experimentation with the different ways of intervention of the written or spoken word in preexisting or ad hoc created shots.

  • Dreaming about sound

    On very few occasions, if ever, do we associate the processes of dreaming with hearing. There is probably a simple biological reason for this: while we dream, although we temporarily switch off our sight so that we can enjoy other virtual images, our hearing always remains alert, always ready to make up for the sacrifice that rest imposes on our sight. As a result, although it sounds strange, there are no sound dreams. Every sound that we dream is irremediably linked to an image, whether this is abstract or figurative. This event offers an exercise based on sleepy listening (elusive, unfocussed..), in a kind of sound siesta, or perhaps more fittingly, a drowsy concert-listening session. In short, an entire long relaxing night, with a suitable soundtrack provided by pieces of radio art, in which the audience can sleep while listening or listen while sleeping. Cinema without light, without dialogue and without seats. The nuances and differences depend on each dream, we’ll let the comments be heard during breakfast.