A documentary made by 32 students and Victor Kossakovsky is to be presented at the IDFA Festival in Amsterdam

The documentary film Demonstration, made by Russian director Victor Kossakovsky and 32 students from the Master’s Degree programme in Documentary Making at the IDEC-Pompeu Fabra University, will have its worldwide première at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA), where it has been selected for inclusion in the Maestros section along with 18 other documentaries.

Demonstration is an initiative of the Master’s Degree programme in Documentary Making at the IDEC-Pompeu Fabra University. Some of the students’ recordings were of the general strikes that took place in Barcelona on 29 March and 14 November 2012 against the government’s austerity plans.  During the strikes, 32 students from the Master’s programme took to the streets with their cameras in order to record events from a variety of different perspectives, following the instructions of Russian director Victor Kossakovsky. The documentary follows those who were involved in the events: the demonstrators, the police, the fire-fighters, the medical services and the omnipresent cameras. However, the images acquire new meaning when juxtaposed with the music from composer Ludwig Minkus’s Don Quixote, lending the documentary a wholly unexpected “cinematographic ballet” effect.

The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam has selected the documentary for screening and invited director Victor Kossakovsky and a group of students from the Master’s Degree programme to attend the worldwide première on 22 November. It will be the first of seven planned screenings during the competition. For its part, Amsterdam University has organised a special session as part of the festival to analyse the alternative model and example that this film represents.

The Master’s Degree in Documentary Making, directed by Jordi Balló, provides students with a solid theoretical and practical grounding in how to create and produce a documentary. Among the programme’s alumni are directors such as Isaki Lacuesta, Mercedes Álvarez and Neus Ballús, editor Núria Esquerra, director of photography Diego Dussuel and sound director Amanda Villavieja, and many more. In the eight years that the course has been offered it has led to the creation of 24 documentary films, which have been shown at the major film festivals around the world.  Recent success stories such as La Plaga by alumnus Neus Ballús and Bajarí by Eva Vila, the programme coordinator, are just two examples of the enormous creative output generated by this Master’s Degree programme at Pompeu Fabra University.