Archivos de la categoría Escuela de cine

Ondartxo Center of Maritime Culture

In this three minute video our intention was to illustrate the picturesque sea port of Pasaia and express something of the aims of Ondartxo Center of Maritime Culture,  The video was recorded spontaneously during a visit to Ondartxo and edited in what amounted to a days work.

Ondartxo Center of Maritime Museum – Pasaia, Basque Country from Basharat Khan on Vimeo.

A short documentary about the Ondartxo Center of Maritime Culture and Museum shot for Bizipoza Tours in the Basque Country 2012.

We were given a warm welcome by Josu and Xabi during our visit to the museum and were amazed about the kind of work they do both in terms of restoring old boats, recovering old wrecks and engaging with other communities from around the world. The center are planning a voyage to Sscotland in the near future and we look forward to collaborating with them again in due course and to make more videos with them.

This is the first in a series of short films where we are looking to create engaging content in a short space of time. Using the new Canon 60D in a documentary environement this film was shot and edited in one day.

Fiesta de los Momotxorros. Altsasua, Navarra

The fiesta of Los Momotxorros in Altsasua, Navarra, is one of the highlights of my year. This for me is real carnival.  A fiesta whose origins go back to Pagan times, it marks a turning point in the winter and the coming of Spring.  It’s a fiesta where our demons are paraded before us, named, laughed at and driven away.

There are several characters who protagonise this fiesta.  The Momotxorros make up the largest group and I would estimate that there were several hundred at last nights event.   Arriving in Altsasua the first character I encountered was the bumbling and outlandishly oversized Txiripotz.

The pageant began at the local school where the Momotxorros had been corralled behind bars.  The tension mounted as the minutes passed and we waited for the clock to strike 7.30.







Then on the signal of a rocket a roar went up, the gate slid back and they spilled forth.  There’s no room for reserve here you are literally born along on a tide of woolly beasts.


Yes, it’s scary but the atmosphere is fundamentally friendly.  Folks look out for each other and no harm comes.  People drink and get a bit «foo» but this is not the drunken affair that it would be in other countries.


I’ve seen wary looks on the faces of children and adults alike but this is about confronting fears and affirming that when we all join together there’s not much to be afraid of really.

More photos here

The Momotxorros are the most important figures in the pageant.  They make their way as a herd through the streets of Altsasua accompanied by marching bands.  They dance the Momotxorro dance and make an unbelievable, unholy even, amount of noise with the cencerros (cow bells) they carry with them.

There is also a goat character who to an extent is master of ceremonies.  He is known as Akerra in Euskera or El Cabrón in Spanish.  His resemblance to Pan and other horned figures is obvious.  He travels in a wooden chariot bedecked with animal skins and skulls.  At intervals along the way he descends into the crowd and mounts anyone and anything that should cross his path.

More photos here





There are numerous witch covens too.  These ones had their own portable cauldron.




There are devils in various forms at this event and I met mine along the way.  We struggled for some time before I was able to drive him off.





The procession makes its way all around town driving out the evil spirits as it goes.  Finally it arrives in La Plaza where they dance counter clockwise (of course) around the band stand.

At one point I encountered a group of Txiripotz strewn around a room and pleading to be released from their costumes.  Although the night was cold (-4ºC) they were expiring in the claustrophobic heat of their suits.






There is something earthy and honest about this festival.  The costumes are really very simple and made entirely of things that can be found in a rural context.  There are groups of people who are dressed in cabbages.  I asked one of my friends what that was all about expecting some sort of anthropological artefact by way of explanation.  «Uh? I don’t know,  I guess it’s just that there are only cabbages in the garden at this time of year»,  was the reply I got.  And in a way that sums it up.  This is not a commercial event and the best costumes are not the ones that cost the most.

You can see something of the event in these short videos.  For more photos click here.





Frozen Dog

I had this notion to accept the fact that February is a slack month and to put it to good use climbing mountains, taking photos and recording it all for Bizipozatourists on this blog.  But, not only is it a slack month it’s also colder than a well diggers ass.

I’m Scottish though and I’m hardly likely to let a little sleaty snow deter me from venturing out.  So with rather more enthusiasm than sense I took myself off with my faithful hound  Tximista (Lightning bolt) and a mind to climb Anboto.

Anboto is Basque classic.  A bit like a mini Aonach Eagach or Scafell.  It’s a serious mountain then, with a craggy top and precipitous ridges all around it. In fairer weather it looks like this






Alluitz (1040m) Anboto (1331m)

Today I couldn’t see the top just snow filled gullies running up into the mist.  It was raining as I kitted up by my car then trudged up through ever deeper wet spring-snow.  The rain turned to driving sleat then snow.  And then we arrived at the craggy ramparts that mark the approach to the summit.  I’d left my crampons in the car but battled on searching for frozen turf that I could drive the axe into.  But it was madness.  Tximis was having serious trouble and he wears crampons even when he goes to the beach.  The further I got the more aware I became of the consequences of a slip.  So, we turned back which in itself was quite an adventure.  Before leaving the car I had snapped a shot of the relevant pages from the guide book.  A handy trick that.


Taken from «La Montaña Vasca» by Miguel Angulo

We got as far as Elgoin at 1200m on route 26.

Tximis does not enjoy these conditions very much even in his snow suit.

Perhaps tomorrow will bring the crisp blue day I’m dreaming of.





Walking Man

I felt a certain empathy with this cold but determined pilgrim I met on my way today.

Yesterday’s crisp sunshine had inspired me to take to the hills.  It had therefore been a brisk surprise on opening the front door this morning to face a blizzard.  So, with something of the stoicism of the walking man in the photo I shouldered into the storm.

It was an unrelenting -4ºC all day.  Actually really agreeable for walking with a good set of thermals.  It did snow quite a bit but in between times there were moments of clarity.  And as is often the way with days such as these there was plenty of adventure to be found along the way. (you’ll find more photos here)

These are «Las Gargantas de Musito» (the throat of Musitu).  I’d estimate it’s about an 8km walk along this dark canyon.  Following the river to its source at «El Salto del Igoroin«, a spectacular cascade.  The forest is mixed beach and oak and home to a great variety of wildlife.


My route took me into a bejewelled treasure trove





And out onto the high plateau near Onraita the highest village in Alava at 1000m.





The Buitre Leonardo (Griffonn Vulture) abounds in these parts but I never tire of seeing them.




I did get tired of the cold though and it was good to get back to a log fire and a cup of tea  (More Photos Here)

Txalaparta Maratoia, Vitoria Gasteiz

The Txalaparta is a curious percussion instrument played by two people.  It is thought to be extremely ancient.  The playing of the txalaparta in the Basque country had all but died out by the 1950’s but in recent years it has enjoyed a revival and has evolved considerably.  The most typical instruments comprise wooden (oak) beams but players often experiment with steal, marble and even ice.  For a really excellent documentary on the Txalaparta look for «Nomadak tx»