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San Sebastian Meeting of International Film School Students

San Sebastian Meeting of International Film School Students

14 schools from 12 countries participated in the 9th International Film Students Meeting. Danis Tanovic chaired the jury of students from the participating centers.

Danis Tanović (Cirkus Columbus)

This is the updated blog with awards and comments.

This section of the festival was started as an initiative of the city of San Sebastian who has recently begun to refurbish the local 100 year old tobacco factory (Tabakalera) into a “culture factory” for arts. Audiovisual arts will have a prime place with community outreach in this formerly working class area in which 2,000 women worked in the tobacco factory which I toured. Women were forced to pray the rosary as they made cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco, pipe tobacco and the packaging for it all so that they would not talk among themselves, especially during the days of Franco’s dictatorship. That did not stop them from dreaming about the sophisticated men of the world who would smoke their tobacco. One women (in the oral histories gathered) said that she actually slipped her phone number in every pack she made. She never did receive a call, though she did eventually marry and have a family. The workers were single working women whose salaries raised their status in the eyes of society. Outside the factory, merchants set up stalls to tempt them with jewelry and clothing. When the factory closed in 2001, it put many people out of work and so today it is focusing on community outreach and education.

And in anticipation of being named the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2016, the initiative to create a center for international film students to study and learn from each other, to develop transmedia and multi media projects along with their filmmaking is given greater impetus. This 9th year the participating countries are Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, Chile, U.S., Spain, Finland, Israel, Poland, the UK and Singapore. These were chosen from 59 schools from 24 countries which applied. This event takes place within the framework of San Sebastian Festival September 22, 23, and 24 and the new artistic director fully supports it. The selected shorts have a wide range, some being graduation projects and others have already won multiple prizes at festivals. They are presented at lively sessions open to the public and professional guests at the Festival by the students after the schools themselves are introduced by professors.

A jury of students from the participating film schools and chaired this year by the filmmaker Danis Tanovic, awarded the Panavision Award, carrying a complete Sony EX III camera for four weeks of filming, or a voucher worth €10,000 towards the cost of renting any Panavision material to Panavision Award to the film Los Minutos, Las Horas by Janaína Marqués ♀ from the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV (Cuba). The film had won Best Film Award earlier at Bahia International Film Festival.

The second prize and third prizes, consisting of an invitation to participate in the Short Film Corner at the next Cannes Festival, went to Miten Marjoja Poimitaan by Elina Talvensaari ♀ from Aalto University (Finland) and to Ambiente Familiar by Carlos Leiva from Pontificia Universidad Catolica (Chile).

I am glad that the only two women in the competition won awards. While I missed Miten Marjoja, I thought The Minutes, The Hours was wonderfully evocative of both life in Cuba and life for a lonely attractive woman taking care of her mother. Interestingly, Ambiente Familiar dealt with the same issue of how poor people live so crowded into a small environment that family issues are treated in ways that the more affluent would find almost difficult to comprehend. I hope these films go on to show at prestigious festivals around the world.

The Students

Larraitz Mendizuri [lmendizuri AT] is in charge of the Meeting of International Film School Students.

Here she answers my questions:

Sydney: Can you tell me, who is coming? Are they students and/ or heads of schools?
Larraitz: 15 schools from all over the world (you could check the list here) have been chosen to take part in the meeting this year. They are going to be represented, during the festival, by three people: a teacher, the film director and another student who plays like a jury member.

S: Do students pay their own way? Or are the students invited along with the short films?
L: Tabakalera and the Film Festival pay the stay but not the trip. Students usually get some kind of grant from their Governments which is really helpful because, as you may imagine, our budget is a bit short.

S: What sort of activities will be held for the students?
L: The meeting starts on the 22nd. The main activity is always a Masterclass. This year is going to be focused on Transmedia and 3D technology. In the evening, 8 pm, we have the official presentation of the meeting at Kursaal.

The 23rd and 24th
Both days are “screening days”. Selected works are screened. Students, teachers and the jury attend those sessions and we all have the opportunity to give our opinion to the directors, ask questions, etc


Check out the social networking and blogging here.

The International Film Students Meeting is jointly organized by the Festival and Tabakalera-International Centre for Contemporary Culture and has the backing of San Sebastian’s Candidature for European of Culture 2016, due to being an obvious exponent of the scenarios and ways of working that the endeavor wishes to promote.


Screenings and discussions:

THE LIVES AND TIMES OF ABRAHAM KAHN, Yaron Dahan from Beit Berl College, Film Department, Israel, headed by Noemi Schory (A Film Unfinished). This is a false documentary of a man´s life spanning 100 years from his father who was a peddlar, killed in a pogram in Odessa, to his own life as the adopted son of a Cossack, a Good German, a Frenchman known as L´Etranger, a founder of Israel, a Soviet scientist, an East German until his death.

AMBIENTE FAMILIAR, Carlos Leiva. How living in close quarters relects the filmmaker´s life. Winner, will attend Cannes Short Film Corner. Pontificia Universidad Catolica, Chile

DEUTERONOMIO, Angello Faccini, Escuela de Cine Black Maria, Colombia

BABYLON 2084, Christian Schleisiek. Futuristic society and one man´s quest for a place in nature. One of my favorites so far. Fachhochschule Mainz, Germany

TÚNELES EN EL RÍO, Igor Galuk. This has already won many festival prizes and for good reason. A man and his two sons go fishing in a little known area of Argentina.
Universidad Nacional de la Plata, Argentina

HINKERORT ZORASUNE, Vatche Boulghourjian, New York University – Tisch School of the Arts – Graduate Film Division, U.S.

LOS MINUTOS, LAS HORAS, Janaína Marqués, Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV, Cuba. A woman taking care of her semi-invalid mother in a tiny Havana apartment has a moment of romance. Winner first prize.

DOM SMIERCI, Matej Bobrik, PWSFTITV – National Film School Lodz, Poland

FIN DE SEMANA, Alfredo Colman, La Metro, Escuela de Diseno y Comunicacion Audiovisual,, Argentina

MITEN MARJOJA POIMITAAN, Elina Talvensaari, Aalto University, Finland

EZRA RISHONA, Yarden Karmin, The Sam Spiegel Film and TV School, Israel

THE CONFESSION, Tanel Toom, National Film and TV School, U.K.

ESTOCOLMO, Juan Francisco Viruega, Escuela de Cinema y Audiovisual Comunidad de Madrid (ECAM), Spain

OUTING, Jow Zhi Whei, The Puttnam School of Film, Singapore

Out of Competition
BELLE SALOPE, Philippe Roger, L’atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, France-Germany

JAKOB, Benjamin Moritz Gronau, L’atelier Ludwigsburg-Paris, France-Germany


The Meeting program is rounded off with two Masterclasses on new audiovisual trends, Transmedia Narratives and 3D cinema:

1. Transmedia conference:

The main objective of the masterclass on Transmedia Narratives is to introduce a new way of telling stories which is causing a revolution in audiovisual production, leisure and digital entertainment; stories that spread and diversify across multiple forms of media: audiovisual, games, websites, comics, mobile platforms or real experiences. These projects generate different narrative universes making it possible to interact with users in the creation and distribution of stories, share knowledge and live new experiences.

The masterclass consists, in the first place, of an international talk given by Lance Weiler. Entitled “Transmedia: Telling Stories Beyond a Screen”, the talk will look at how to design and develop transmedia projects in order to make them attractive and interesting, construct audiences and exploit new forms of funding.

Secondly, Robert Figueras will present, as a practical case, the project Panzer Chocolate (Robert Figueras and Gemma Dunjó), one of the first transmedia projects in Spain.

The conference will close with a debate on training in Transmedia Narratives and the new opportunities they offer, with participation of the speakers and Ian Ginn, producer and expert in transmedia training, as its chair and moderator. Attending students, teachers and professionals are free to participate in this debate.



Lance Weiler

Critically acclaimed writer and director. He is recognized as a pioneer: he constantly experiments with new ways to tell stories and reach audiences through different distribution networks. Lance is a partner in Seize the Media, a social entertainment company focussing on transmedia story architecture. Through this company, Lance is developing a number of film, TV and gaming projects. His next feature film is the transmedia project entitled HiM, which recently won the Arte France Cinéma award at the 2009 edition of CineMart. In January, HiM attended the Sundance Screenwriters Lab, marking the first time the lab has supported a transmedia project.

Lance is the founder of the WorkBook Project, an open creative network that has grown to become a thriving international community of filmmakers, musicians, game designers and software developers. He also co-created and produced 24 episodes entitled Radar. He sits on the board of the IFP, a national filmmaking organization, and advises a number of technology companies. Other outstanding features on his CV are the book entitled “Putting the Mass Back in Media” and his blog.

He is a regular speaker on changes in narrative architectures and the entertainment world in recognised forums like: MIT, USC, Columbia, Cannes, Sundance, etc.

Robert Figueras

Is currently working on his first feature, Panzer Chocolate, scheduled for release in 2011. This film, which has the backing of Fundación Digitalent, is co-directed by Gemma Dunjó and written by Pep Garrido. The film complements the story with an online/iPhone video-game, an interactive motion comic with augmented reality, an alternative reality game and mobile interactivity.

This director of several documentaries and short films including Los últimos días del General Álvarez de Castro, Simonet, el Terror del Francés and Citizen Welles, worked in London for part of his career.

In 2005, he co-founded Filmutea with Gemma Dunjó. This production company manages an online community of over 36,000 filmmakers and creators. Filmutea also creates, produces and exploits transmedia projects both of its own and for other production companies, businesses and brands, offering creative services and assistance in the field of production and advice, training and talks on new financing strategies, promotion and distribution over the Internet.

His commitment to digital and internet technologies as a formula for directing films and his interest in sharing knowledge means that Robert is an active blogger in Cross Media Project. He is also an adviser on the Post-Graduate Communication course at the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) and gives talks for entities including the SGAE and the Facultat de Comunicació Blanquerna at the Universitat Ramon Llull (URL).

Ian Ginn
Creator and producer, he develops transmedia formats for youngsters through his production company Hubbub Media, working in Amsterdam, London and Los Angeles.

Expert in Transmedia Narratives and in applied creativity and innovation, he gives talks, moderates and directs workshops in different international forums such as, for example, Cannes Festival, Power to the Pixel Forum (London), TEDxTransmedia (Geneva), Mobile 2.0 Europe (Barcelona), UK Screenwriters’ Festival, Amsterdam Dag van de Soap, Cinekid (Amsterdam).

Through his consultant’s company TransmediaLabs, Ian addresses topics related to transmedia training, educational innovation and market research. He is currently working on several projects including the development and implementation of a transmedia training lab for the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam.

2. 3D cinema workshop:

Manolo Gómez, President of Dygra Films, will give a masterclass on Digital 3D cinema and the Dygra Native Digital 3D system, the company’s own seal guaranteeing a “native” production, created and produced from the very outset in stereoscopic Digital 3D cinema. One of the subjects addressed will be the film Holy Night!, the first Spanish animated production in Digital 3D and one of the first in Europe, the work in progress of which will be presented at San Sebastian Festival.

The workshop will be completed with the intervention of Panavision, which will exclusively present the teaser for the film The Krostons, Masters of the Universe (Frederik Du Chau), giving a talk on the material and 3D treatment used in the film.


Manolo Gómez
Director, screenwriter, painter and producer. Founder and President of DYGRA FILMS since 1987. Producer and co-director of the animated features El Bosque Animado (2001) and Sueño de una noche de San Juan (2005). President of the Academia Galega do Audiovisual from 2003 until September 2006 and member of the Spanish Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas, the European Film Academy, the Comité Organizador Mundos Digitales (from 2002 until 2006) and Cartoon Future (from 2002 until 2005). Tutor of the Master’s Degree in Digital Creation and Communication at the University of A Coruña (from 1998 until today). Founding patron of the AVERHO Foundation. He was the screenplay analyst on the features, El Bosque Animado, Sueño de una noche de San Juan and Espíritu del Bosque. He directed development of the features Holy Night!, Objetos Perdidos and Asinus Auras. He was the co-screenwriter of Holy Night!, Objetos Perdidos and Navegantes, and responsible for Art in development of the features Objetos perdidos and Asinus Auras. He received the following nominations and awards:

1 Goya nomination in 2009 – for Espíritu del Bosque (Producer)
1 Goya nomination in 2008- for El Bufón y la Infanta (Producer)
1 Goya Award in 2006 – for Sueño de una noche de San Juan (Producer)
1 Goya Award ub 2002 – for El Bosque Animado, sentirás su magia (Producer)
Several international awards.


Philippe Dieuzaide and Patrick Leplat will give the Panavision talk.

Philippe Dieuzaide
Having belonged to the Panavision Alga Techno Film Department in 2006, Philippe Dieuzaide has been Head of the Sales Department since January 2010. He was Director of Production in Paris during the 90s and directed a technical services company in Spain for 5 years.

Patrick Leplat
In 2006 Patrick Leplat worked for Panavision Alga Techno as Director of Technical Marketing and Operations. He had previously worked for Panasonic France during 19 years, firstly as a technician and gradually climbing the company ladder to become technical director and finally manager of the French Broadcasting branch.

A series of parallel activities will also be carried out during the International Film Students Meeting. On the one hand, part of the programme has been reserved for the presentation of projects destined to foster international collaboration and production processes. In this context we will screen two short films out-of-competition from the Atelier Masterclass project with the participation of La Fémis in Paris and the Filmakademie in Baden-Württemberg.

Furthermore, this year the Istanbul Express project will participate in the Meeting, welcoming 15 young filmmakers who will leave San Sebastian by train for Istanbul. The project consists of the journey by 45 young filmmakers between the ages of 18 and 30, who will cross the European continent in three trains, each taking different routes, but all arriving in Istanbul. On the way, the young filmmakers will make 15 documentary shorts, living the places, avoiding clichés and preconceived ideas, and experiencing different linguistic realities first-hand.

All events at the Meeting will be made available online. Information and images from the films and participating schools will be available for consultation and downloading from the Zinemaldi website. The entire Meeting will be exhaustively monitored thanks to the different platforms and channels set up for this purpose:, and On these platforms, visitors can view some of the competing shorts, interviews with students and representatives of the participating schools, run-downs of each day’s events and material contributed by those attending the meeting through their mobile phones. These are some of the contents making it possible to experience the event from a closer, more human angle. The Web will therefore become a dynamic space permitting attendees to participate as a community while strengthening the objectives of this activity.

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