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The 2020-2021 academic year begins at Elías Querejeta Film School

Students from the third intake year comprise 27 women and 17 men from 16 different countries


The EQZE has developed a dual syllabus specially adapted to the current situation and has updated its Covid-19 prevention plan

Elías Querejeta Film School has opened its doors to the third intake year with a welcome and orientation programme for its new students. The 2020-2021 academic year starts today and will conclude in fifteen months' time, in December 2021, with the presentation of the assignments carried out by students at the school.

The students accepted onto the course for the 2020-2021 academic year were selected by the Academic Management Team (made up of representatives from the Basque Film Library, Tabakalera, the San Sebastián Film Festival and the EQZE) from among the 183 applications received during the admissions period. Successful candidates include 27 women and 17 men, 5 from the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country (2 from Bizkaia and 3 from Gipuzkoa), 15 from the rest of Spain and 24 from abroad. This year, the EZQE will have students from Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, Ecuador, the USA, Holland, Hungary, Mexico, Peru, Portugal, the UK, Switzerland and Uruguay. The mean age of all students in the year group is approximately 30.

Students are filmmakers whose works (shorts and feature films) have been premièred at festivals and exhibited in galleries, and who have studied previously at other schools of film and art, including LAV, ESCAC, EICTV, ECAM, Lisbon Theatre and Film School (ESTC), KASK School of Arts, Slade School of Fine Art, Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD), Film University (FUC), EFTI (International Centre of Photography and Film) and the Pratt Institute, among others, graduating in Audiovisual Communication, Social Communication, Film and Television, Philosophy, History of Art, Fine Art, Heritage Preservation, Architecture, Political Science and Philology and Literature. They include specialists in film production and distribution; curators with experience producing, managing and programming events in film festivals, film libraries, cycles, programmes and artistic exhibitions or installations; editors, members of independent film groups, researchers and professionals with extensive experience in fields such as editing, photography, sound and design.

The academic year begins today, four days before the official opening of the 68th San Sebastián International Film Festival, in which students from both the second and third intake groups will have the chance to participate in a specific agenda which will include screenings, master-classes, the International Film Students Encounter (Nest) and other activities, as well as being afforded an insider's view of how the festival works and is organised. Regular classes will commence on 28 September, after the end of the Festival.

Dual syllabus

The situation generated by the Covid-19 pandemic affects both students and teachers, neither of whom will be able to attend class as normal. Given the complex nature of the scenario, and with the aim of staying true to the school's philosophy and ensuring the cohesion of the educational community, the EQZE has developed a dual syllabus for the first module (14 September - 8 November, 2020) which may be extended in accordance with the evolution of the health crisis and the gradual incorporation of part of the student body.

The following are some of the basic principles governing the dual syllabus:

* Dual teaching is not a substitute for face-to-face teaching; rather, it is designed to coexist with it on a temporary basis.

* It is based on the premise that students who follow the classes remotely will, at some point, join the face-to-face sessions. In this sense, the plan envisages students returning physically to the school in a customised and staggered fashion.

* The calendar for the academic syllabus will be revised in an ongoing manner, and updated in accordance with current circumstances.

The application of the dual syllabus is divided into three phases. Phase 1 corresponds to the weeks prior to the start of the course on 14 September and is mainly informative and preventive in nature. During this phase, students must plan, in collaboration with the academic staff, what they are going to do during the first module and what adjustments they are going to make if the circumstances so require.

Phase 2 comprises the period which combines the face-to-face and remote presence of both students and teachers. This period covers the first module (14 September  - 8 November), although this may change depending on how the pandemic develops. Providing the methodology so permits, classes will be taught by teachers in their respective classrooms. When teachers cannot be present, sessions will be held online and will be recorded for subsequent consultation. To help students who may have difficulty keeping up, individual online sessions will be arranged with teachers and members of the academic coordination team, and group sessions will also be held to deal with specific aspects of each subject.

Finally, Phase 3 refers to the moment at which those students who decide to delay attending classes in person will finally be present physically at the school. Incorporation plans will be customised to suit the needs of each individual student, the aim being to make their integration into ongoing academic dynamics as seamless as possible.

Prevention plan

Elías Querejeta Film School has also updated its prevention plan, which includes a series of protocols, measures and recommendations applicable to all members of the school community. Among other things, the document outlines the prevention and hygiene measures to be taken, school opening and closing times, cleaning, maximum capacity and the use of classrooms, facilities and technical equipment.

The new plan updates the protocol established in June for the initial return to the classrooms following the end of the State of Alarm in Spain, and is a dynamic document that will be constantly revised and updated throughout the health crisis in accordance with the guidelines published by the health authorities.

Created and funded by the Gipuzkoa Provincial Council, Elías Querejeta Film School is a unique educational initiative comprising three postgraduate courses (Archives, Curation and Creation) which stem from the specialist knowledge areas of the three institutions involved in its running: the Basque Film Archive, the Tabakalera International Centre for Contemporary Culture and the San Sebastian Film Festival. Since 2019, the EQZE has formally been a part of the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU).