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Blogging from San Sebastian September 18-26, 2020

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University of the Basque Country Summer Course ‘Critical approaches to film festivals’


The course 

The San Sebastian Festival, the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola and Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa organise the University of the Basque Country Summer Course ‘Critical approaches to film festivals’ which will run from September 1-3 : registration on


The San Sebastian Festival and the Elías Querejeta Zine Eskola (EQZE), created and financed by Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, will participate in the University of the Basque Country’s 2020 Summer Course programme with the proposal Critical approaches to film festivals: history, culture and politics. The course is an introduction to festival studies, establishing dialogues between the past, present and future. The talks will address a historical analysis of international film festivals and their relationship with the main contemporary social and political changes, while the round tables will open a space for discussion on the present and future of these cinematic gatherings. 

The course will be directed by Pablo La Parra Pérez, Head of the EQZE Research Department and principal researcher of the project Zinemaldia 70. All possible stories. In his talk, La Parra will look at The ruptures of the long ’68 and, particularly, the case study of the San Sebastian Festival in the Transition, The late ’68 of Zinemaldia. The professor and researcher Caroline Moine (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines) will speak about Cinema and the Cold War and The birth of festivals in a divided Germany, and Aida Vallejo (University of the Basque Country) will take a closer look at The proliferation of festivals at global level and the tendency “towards a specialised exhibition model”, with the focus on documentary film festivals.

This introduction to the critical and compared study of film festivals will be completed with three round tables. Paz Lázaro, Berlinale selection committee programmer, and Marta Selva, director of Barcelona’s Mostra Internacional de Filmes de Dones, will discuss feminism and the gender gap in festivals; Charlotte Serrand, programme advisor for the Festival de Cannes’ Quinzaine des Réalisateurs, and Víctor Iriarte, head of the Tabakalera Film and Audiovisual programme, will analyse the challenge of programming for 21st century festivals; and Alejandro Díaz Castaño (FICX Gijón), Vanesa Fernández Guerra (ZINEBI) and José Luis Rebordinos (San Sebastian Festival) will unravel the challenges and prospects of festivals in Spain.  

This meeting point between research and film industry professionals seeks to encourage discussion on festivals from a critical, historical and compared point of view with the objectives of understanding relations between festivals, cinema culture and the main historical and social transformations, addressing case studies based on research carried out into international film festival archives, and debating and reflecting on their political role.

The course will run from September 1-3. Registration can be formalised on the University of the Basque Country Summer Courses website ( The cost of registration will be free for EQZE students and the Festival team, and former EQZE students can attend at a discounted price. For all other cases, the general policy of the Summer Courses applies. Places are limited.






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About SanSebastian

Barreda de Biurrun Inés

Blogging from the 67th San Sebastian Film Festival
Reporting by Inés Barreda de Biurrun and Bruno Chatelin.

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