After the margins

A look at the other cinema in Spain

September 27 and 28, 2013
View of the Sabatini Auditorium
View of the Sabatini Auditorium
Organized by
ICAA and Museo Reina Sofía

Film on the margins, from the peripheries, and the other cinema are among the terms used to refer to works that have been made outside the industry in recent years in Spain. Beyond this condition of existence, a number of additional criteria are fulfilled by these films, suggesting something of a group identity. More specifically: independent production and distribution platforms, the incorporation of the experimental language used in the field of art (exhibition video and film) and the liberal use of documentary techniques in the form of essay film are some of the features found throughout this other cinema. Although they lack a unifying element and have uneven institutional recognition, these films have made quite a solid appearance on the scene, receiving recognition at both art centres and at international festivals, right when the audiovisual industry finds itself faced with the dilemma of whether to choose profitability, as the only means of survival.

This seminar, produced by ICAA and Museo Reina Sofía, brings together, for two days of study, some of the most relevant actors in the field. At the same time, the seminar is linked to the recently-programmed series Urgencies of contemporaneity (2012) and Unending stories (2013), both of which explored this new cinematography.


Carlos Muguiro. Artistic director of the Festival Punto de Vista de Navarra from 2006 to 2009, Muguiro also helped found this event in 2005. Author of, among other publications, Jardines de la visión, Aguaespejo granadino y el avant-garden cinematográfico (in : desbordamiento de Val del Omar, 2011), Ver sin Vertov : una introducción a cincuenta años de cine de no-ficción ruso y soviético (1954-2004) (2005), El hombre sin la cámara: el cine de Alan Berliner (2002) and El cine de los mil años: una aproximación histórica y estética al cine documental japonés (1945-2005) (2005).

Jean Pierre Rehm. Director since 2002 of the International Documentary Film Festival of Marseilles, one of the most important venues for international recognition of the new forms of documentary. Also, author and participant in exhibition projects such as Hotel Europa (2003), Peter Friedl (2006) and Political Typographies: Visual Essays on the Margins of Europe (2007).

Miquel Martí Freixas. Editor and founder of Blogs&Docs, an independent platform for debate and criticism about the other cinema. Critic and programmer, he teaches documentary film at the Film and Audivisual School of Catalunya (ESCAC).

Andrés Duque. The work of Andrés Duque shows a subjective narrative without a defined voice, built from the distance provided by continual experimentation with precarious images, found footage and the direct cinema style with which his films are constructed. His Final Essay for Utopia inaugurated the recent series Urgencies of Contemporaneity.

Elías León Siminiani. The author of cinema characterised by first person narratives as a mechanism for interrogating the world, Siminiani has built a fictional document that is carefully measured and has unexpected appeal to general audiences. In addition, his works, both the successive series Conceptos clave del mundo moderno and features such as Mapa, have received considerable international recognition.

Laura Gómez Vaquero. A professor of film at Universidad Camilo José Cela, Gomez has worked with recent Spanish film on a practical level (as the programmer of series and member of the advisory committee of Documenta Madrid in its last four editions) and also on the theoretical level, through her research activity. With respect to the latter, of particular importance are her publications Piedra, papel y tijera. El collage en el cine documental (co-ordinated with Sonia García López, Documenta Madrid, 2009) and Las voces del cambio. La palabra en el documental durante la transición en España (Documenta Madrid, 2012).


Actividad pasada September 27, 2013
Session 1

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Carlos Muguiro. The other cinema and the cinema of the other

In 2001 Alejandro Amenábar's film The Others became the biggest box-office smash in the history of Spanish film and seemed to point to the new “uninhibited and international” road that would be taken by the first generation of filmmakers of the 21st century. Ten years later, the phrase ‘the others’ refers, paradoxically, to a cinematographic regeneration that has conspicuously little in common with the earlier proposal. It could be said that, at this point in time, ghosts are what really inhabit the house of Spanish film. Referring to the new paths of Spanish cinema as "the other cinema" revives one of the avant-garde's traditional concepts: that of otherness, understanding this term - following Octavio Paz - as strangeness, stupefaction, paralysis of the mind: astonishment. The question asked by this encounter is whether ‘the other Spanish cinema’ is really a cinema of ‘otherness.’

7:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Jean Pierre Rehm. The new forms of documentary

8:00 - 8:30 p.m.
Carlos Muguiro and Jean Pierre Rehm
Round table      

Actividad pasada September 28, 2013
Session 2

6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Miquel Martí Freixas. Spaces for criticism, dissemination and visibility. Some questions for the future

In Spain, for over a decade now considerable audiovisual activity has been taking place outside of industrial production, partly as the legacy of past eras. This “new” realm of audiovisuals is emerging thanks to the digital media and it is becoming known thanks to the internet, where pioneering spaces for criticism and dissemination are appearing. For the first time, coinciding with the crisis in cultural models, attention is being paid to it, which is helping put this broad, and sometimes contradictory, audiovisual space at a junction that has yet to be defined.

7:00 - 8:15 p.m.
Training, visibility and circuits
Round table with Andrés Duque and Elías León Siminiani. Moderated by: Laura Gómez Vaquero

Master programs in documentary creation, independent film production companies, specialised film festivals, cinemas, cultural spaces, museums, art centres, digital dissemination and exhibition platforms, and even a few social networks… The production, promotion, distribution and legitimation of a certain documentary cinema with an experimental bent involves the use of a wide variety of places and strategies. This encounter with Andrés Duque and Elías León Siminiani, who at this time are two of the most emblematic filmmakers of this “other cinema”, reveals some of the most important keys to understanding the new (and old) realms in which it moves.

8:15 - 9:00 p.m.
Questions and answers: Andrés Duque, Elías León Siminiani, Miquel Martí Freixas and Laura Gómez Vaquero