School as film production centres

In the past years, some of Spain’s most interesting and innovative works have been developed in the framework of film schools, which are working as catalysts for film development and creation. This holistic conception of schools as institutions that illuminate, encourage and accompany students in the creative process towards the culmination of their works turns these schools into role models for vocational development, group-based creation and the fabric of a future professional community. 

Seeking a exchange of ideas among the different existing models, Curtocircuíto has called three of those institutions: Barcelona’s Pompeu Fabra University with its Master’s Degree in Creative Documentary, Donostia’s Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola and Madrid’s School of Cinematography and Audiovisual Studies (ECAM). All of them will participate by providing the experience of both their ideologists and three filmmakers who have developed their films within that framework.

 Jordi Balló

Professor of Iconography of the Cinema at the Pompeu Fabra University (UPF) and dean of the School of Communication. He was an exhibition director at the Centre for Contemporary Culture of Barcelona (CCCB), where he curated The Century of Cinema, Erice - Kiarostami or Hammershøi and Dreyer, among others. At present, he directs the UPF’s Master’s Degree in Creative Documentary, which has promoted films such as O que arde (Fire Will Come), La plaga, El cielo gira or La leyenda del tiempo (I). In 2005, he received the Government of Catalonia’s National Culture Award as director of the Master’s Degree in Creative Documentary.

Luis Ferrón

Luis is the managing director of ECAM (School of Cinematography and Audiovisual Studies of the Community of Madrid). He was the executive producer of El futuro (Luis López Carrasco), Los mutantes (Gabriel Azorín) and El año del descubrimiento (The Year of the Discovery, Luis López Carrasco). He was the producer of Sueñan los androides (Androids Dream, Ion de Sosa) and El cerro de los dioses (Daniel Caneiro).

Carlos Muguiro

A filmmaker, teacher and film curator. Winner of an outstanding PhD award from the Pompeu Fabra University and holder of a Degree in Communication from the University of Navarra and a Degree in Film Direction from ECAM. He was the founder of the Punto de Vista Festival and its director until 2009. Previously in charge of the specialty in documentary cinema at ECAM until 2016, he has been the director of the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola since 2017.

Neus Ballús

Neus Ballús is a film director and scriptwriter. Her first film, La plaga (The Plague, 2013), premiered at the Berlinale Forum and was nominated for the European Film Awards, the LUX Prize and the Goya Awards. Her second feature, El viatge de la Marta (Staff Only, 2019), premiered at the Berlinale’s Panorama section, was screened at more than 30 festivals and was released in over 100 cinemas. She is working on her third feature, Sis dies corrents (The Odd-Job Men). Ballús’ work has grown out of the fertile soils of genre hybrids, dealing with some of the most relevant contemporary issues, such as racism, postcolonialism or social inequalities. She has been considered by The Hollywood Reporter and Variety to be among the filmmakers who are changing the face of Spanish cinema and one of the leading filmmakers of Catalonia’s new wave.

Chema García Ibarra

Chema García Ibarra directed and wrote El ataque de los robots de Nebulosa-5 (Attack of the Robots from Nebula-5, 2009), Protopartículas (2010), Misterio (Mystery, 2013) and La disco resplandece (2016). His latest work, the short film Leyenda dorada (The Golden Legend), premiered at Berlinale 2019. He is currently preparing the shooting of Espíritu sagrado (The Sacred Spirit), which participated in the second edition of La Incubadora, of ECAM’s The Screen.

Gabriel Azorín

Holder of a Degree in Direction from ECAM and a postgraduate degree from the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola. He directed the short films Los galgos and Mañana vendrá la bala, as well as the documentary Los mutantes. His works have been shown at different festivals, including San Sebastián, Belfort, Seville, FICUNAM or Zinebi. He is a founding member of the group lacasinegra.

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