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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. 

Matías Piñeiro (Buenos Aires, 1982) is the coordinator of the Filmmaking Studies Department. Piñeiro studied film directing at the University of Film in Buenos Aires, where he later taught directing, scriptwriting and film history. In 2011 he moved to the United States after being granted a fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University to pursue his film projects. In 2014 he earned a Master's degree in Creative Writing in Spanish from New York University and currently teaches film directing at the Pratt Institute, New York (USA). Since 2019 he has been a guest professor at Le Fresnoy, Studio national des arts contemporains (France) and at the Elías Querejeta Film School. The Argentinean filmmaker ("La princesa de Francia", "Hermia y Helena", "Isabella") has premiered his films at events such as the San Sebastian Film Festival, Berlinale, Locarno, Toronto, Bafici and Viennale 

Practical research in making films or artistic audio-visual work

  Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4 Module 5 Module 6

Common subjects

Film Hypothesis  History of the materiality of cinema  The filmmaker's thinking  The soundtrack of reality  The spectator-filmmaker   

Module details

States of perception Randomness vs control Construction and composition Paradoxes Alienation In the filmmaker's workshop-studio


Avant-Garden. The Film and Art of the Garden Digital observatory Looking at the face- The logic of the portrait Looking at the face- The logic of the portrait Looking at the face- The logic of the portrait  
  Sounding out the dream: sound and dreams The visual and audio construction of scenes Musical structure and composition Randomness vs control The body and cinema  
  The photochemical image. 16 mm laboratory (I) and (II)

Avant-Garden. The Film and Art of the Garden 

Avant-Garden. The Film and Art of the Garden  Construction of audio universes Construction of desire and emotion  

The camera and objects. Project 0


Starting point


Permanent film sound observatory

The photochemical image. 16 mm laboratory (III) 


Imagined films 


Study of a place

Seeing films


Basque film: a cinematography with tradition, an emerging cinematography


Imagined films  

Articulations of the word

Map of the (three) archives


Imagined films  

Meeting, program and other activities

Akelarre I


Historie(s) of cinema

Akelarre II


Historie(s) of cinema 

Akelarre III


Historie(s) of cinema

Akelarre IV


Historie(s) of cinema

Akelarre V


Historie(s) of cinema

Tabakalera program            


Common Subjects

  • Film Hypothesis

    The theme of the first of the core subjects is the school itself, viewed as an aesthetic project rather than just an educational centre. The result is poetics, that is to say, an action plan, an ethic, a unitary vision of film, a shared life experience and a notion of collective co-responsibility that affects all members of the school. It is the EQZE as poetics, as Raúl Ruiz might say, or as ars poetica (the art of poetry), to borrow Horace’s term. A Single History/ Just a Story [Una sola historia/ Solo una historia] shows the EQZE’s place in the context of other legendary film education experiences, carrying out an iconological, flexible, cross-cutting and non-diachronic analysis of film in order to engender a reflection on the unity of film which lies at the heart of the EQZE teaching project.

  • 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

    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.

  • 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.

  • The map of the (three) archives

    This subject offers EQZE students the opportunity of taking on an exploratory role (creative, researcher, curator) within archive-related film and audio-visual practice, bearing the three tenses of cinema in mind: the past, linked to memory; the present, linked to action; and the future, linked to planning and foresight. This philosophical proposal aims to prompt students to think about historical and contemporary cultural and political problems from the perspective of the conceptual framework offered by the concepts of profanation (Giorgio Agamben) and the creative act (Gilles Deleuze).

  • 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.

  • Inside filmmaker’s studio

    The sixth module begins in mid-August and is only partly classroom-based. This is a time for students to apply the knowledge they have gained, both through their work experience and in their individual or group end-of-course assignments.

Itinerary subjects

  • Avant-Garden. The Film and Art of the Garden

    Avant Garden- the Film and Art of the Garden combines the skills, abilities and methods of the good gardener—careful observation of the environment, walking, selecting a territory, cultivating hybrids and exotic species, grafting and editing, waiting, imagining the passer-by/spectator, projecting a film for the future, taking it out of the hothouse and, when spring is on the way, placing it back in its natural surroundings. The subject includes sessions of theory and analysis, fieldwork and individual tasks, because ultimately, the work requires the filmmaker to commune with the place. From October to January, students on the Creation course will have to propose, produce, make, edit and exhibit a film garden— a garden of images and sounds that will be placed back in nature at the end of the winter. With Carlos Muguiro and Helena Wittman.

  • 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.

  • The photochemical image. 16 mm Laboratory (I) and (II)

    Divided into two parts, the subject begins by introducing students to the essential tools and techniques required for filming in 16 mm: camera, light meter, loading the film, lenses, etc. Secondly, it offers a basic introduction to the procedures involved in developing black-and-white and colour film by hand. Through theory and practice in developing different types of film and processes, the second part of the subject looks at the photochemical material during processing in the dark room. Students will learn about the chemical treatments and the alterations suffered by this type of material, in order to understand its qualities, its physical and aesthetic performance and its deterioration, as well as its creative possibilities. We will process material shot in the school. With Uxue Jiménez and Luis Macías.

  • The camera and objects

    During this course we will reflect on how our perception of the world changes when we look at it through the lens of a 16 mm camera, how we explore the world and how we can create sensitive universes. To do so, we will move between theory and practice, striving to go beyond the limits and assumptions that limit and standardise the way we understand film and its processes. With Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado.

  • Starting Point

    Prior to the project presentation week, the idea of the writing sessions is for students to examine the nature of their project and the best approach methods.

  • Permanent film sound observatory

    The Observatory is involved throughout the academic year, providing a space for training, practice and research in sound. In addition to pre-established themes, it can also adapt to the specific needs of group members at any time, linking into practical work and projects under development, in the areas of sound recording and postproduction. Throughout the year, the observatory also builds links between the area of sound and other subjects, to form an ongoing echo chamber.

  • Digital observatory

    A space for examining the tools of the digital image and data management from a technical perspective, from filming all the way through to postproduction.

  • 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.

  • The photochemical image. 16 mm Laboratory (III)

    Second part of the subject, centring on the developing of colour film.

  • Imagined films

    Are the films we don't make actually films? Does cinema only encompass the films that manage to get made? Or does it also include all the others we only imagine and plan for? Failure and error are often the springboard for getting things right and discovering new paths. In many different domains—science, business and art, for example—there are plenty of examples of a failed or erroneous project leading to a new discovery. In this course we will take a look at some failed projects and mistakes, analysing them from an educational and constructive perspective. We will be discussing all those unmade films and projects which—despite never seeing the light of day—form part of the dreamt filmography of the filmmaker.

  • Study of a place

    This subject involves observation and fantasy, capturing and writing; while these activities might seem contradictory, even paradoxical, they operate together in the process of building a film location.

  • Looking at the face. The logic of the portrait

    Film is the construction of time within time. Encapsulating an impression of a person in cinematic form therefore requires the filmmaker to live in and with the real world. However complex and unattainable it may seem; it is a road worth taking. That coexistence gradually models the future portrait, amplifying the importance of the work in reaction, freeing the creative process from self-absorption, redefining the ideas of impetus, intention, control, direction and honesty, all key concepts in ensuring that the film realises its humanist potential. After all, the filmmaker's gaze must meet the eyes of those looking back at him or her. There is a meeting of eyes that defines the film and, as in any relationship, it is from there that life emerges. From January to October, Creation students will have to propose, produce, make, edit and exhibit a film portrait. With the participation of Ana Pfaff and Mikel Gurrea.

  • Musical structure and composition

    What can music theory teach filmmakers? This subject introduces students to the concepts of musical composition and structure and, by extension, to other art disciplines, in order to help them interrogate and explore these two aesthetic tools in the context of cinema.

  • Seeing films

    The course focuses on our thoughts and feelings whilewatching a film. We will look at short films by the students and films in relation to the subject "Portraits" (i.e. by Marie Menken, Margaret Tait, Robert Beavers, Bruce Baillie, Ernie Gehr, Maya Deren, Helen Levitt, Dore O.). Immediately after seeing one film we will write down notes emphasizing our personal experiences evoked by the film. It is not easy to be aware of the thoughts and feelings we have while seeing a film. Often, we remember pleasant and unpleasant moments of a film and develop an opinion, which is not asked for in this workshop. We will just listen to each other’s notes, and by the different ways of responding to a film - observations, associations, memories, feelings and thoughts - we may experience the film more complexly.

  • Randomness vs. control

    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.

  • 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 based on sound, mixing etc. The multisensory power of images and sound. The synaesthetic sensory stimulation of images and sounds and the articulation of their paradoxical power in film.

  • Articulations of the word

    The traditional dichotomy between word and image, as opposing, distant entities, conceals the enormous power of words for conjuring up those very (poetic, mental and conceptual) images. In this subject, we aim to study the relationship which exists between verbal and iconic images and how they can and do relate to one another.

  • The human body and cinema

    This class outlines an approach to working with bodies on film beyond the adherence to a script and acting and towards forms of being through art making. We will study performances for that transcend acting and drama and focus on gesture and presence. We will root our practice in varied traditions such as Carolee Schneemann, Andy Warhol, Robert Bresson and Peggy Ahwesh. We will practice situations with bodies in space, everyday gestures, and other forms of being that disrupt suspension of disbelief. We will read and discuss a number of short fiction works, philosophical and poetic texts and create new ways to play with the presence of the body on film.

  • Construction and 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.