Press Releases


‘La vida filmada’, unpublished images of family cinema

21/12/06 The Vitoria City Council and the Foundation are working together on the recovery of a fund of exceptional value.

Vitoria-Gasteiz, 21 December 2006. The end of the Civil War in Vitoria, the ceremonies and official acts in the Old Cathedral, the defeat in the plaza de Abastos and the construction of Plaza de Los Fueros with the presence of Eduardo Chillida, an afternoon of bulls with Manuel Benítez “El Cordobés”, the first emigrants leaving for Germany, the beginning of industrial estates and the activities of factories in the city...

These are just a few examples of the moments, stories and experiences told in the “Vitoria-Gasteiz, la vida filmada”, a compilation of previously unseen film materials comprising an audiovisual memoir of the Álava capital during the last century. The exhibition will be on show at Espacio Ciudad (C/ San Prudencio, 30), from 21 December until 28 January.

The “Vitoria-Gasteiz, la vida filmada” exhibition is part of a much larger project based on the concept of “Visual Archaeology” that centers on the Santa María Cathedral restoration project. The search for audiovisual documents about the old Vitoria church has opened the doors to a complete chronicle of Vitoria-Gasteiz and its people in the last century through amateur film, which in many cases form part of family albums.

The research, recovery and preservation of all the materials has been made possible because of a collaborative agreement between Vitoria-Gasteiz Town Hall and the Santa María Cathedral Foundation.

The “Vitoria-Gasteiz, la vida filmada” exhibition is directed by journalist Antxon Urrosolo, who since 1989 has been researching and restoring previously unseen super 8 mm, 9.5 mm and 16 mm amateur and family film recorded taken from the 1920s onwards.

The material recovered is very valuable as an unofficial history of the capital of Álava, a chronicle where there is room for themes as varied as scenes of daily, family and social life, memories, nooks and crannies of the city; school and work; leisure, summers and journeys; beliefs, popular traditions, customs and fiestas; sport, fashion, music… ; and endless events, captured by the first cine cameras to arrive in the city.

This is, therefore, a memoir of the city told through the frames shot by amateur film-makers of Vitoria and Álava who captured the truth of their time, a homage of recognition to amateur film makers, ochistas (users of 8 mm) and súper-ochistas (users of super 8 mm film) who started the so-called “Vitoria group” in the 50s and 60s.

Among these pioneers of amateur documentaries there are many types of Vitoria film-makers. There are merchants, doctors, magistrates, employees, industrialists… amateur cameramen who captured the city´s life and people such as Ramón Aguirrezabal, Luis Díaz de Corcuera, Julián Elejospe, Pedro Escayol, Eloy González, Juan Ignacio Lasagabaster, Felipe Manterola, Juan Bautista Pardo, Alberto Schommer Koch, Alberto Schommer, Cecilio Ugarte and José Ignacio Vegas, among others.

Documentary film and themed projections
With some of these materials and others belonging to a variety of private archives, Antxon Urrosolo has directed a 90-minute documentary film collage that will be screened twice daily in the Espacio Ciudad room. This feature-length film starts with the family films of Alberto Schommer. Through his childhood, youth and maturity we go on to visit Vitoria-Gasteiz and Álava throughout the century, along with other lives, other images filmed by different people there.

The Espacio Cultural room is open to the public from Monday to Friday, from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs; and Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 12.00 to 14.00 and from 19.00 to 21.00 hrs. The feature length film with images of the Alberto Schommer will always begin 15 minutes after the room is opened.

The exhibition also includes three 30-minute simultaneous projections, each of them subdivided into short films, covering the following subjects:
-The city throughout time.
-Citizens: social and family life.
-The towns.

Visitors can also view a selection of photographs of Vitoria-Gasteiz and the Santa María Cathedral, among which there are old photographs and others from the collections of the Santa María Cathedral Foundation taken by photographers Vari Caramés and José Manuel Navia.

Compilation of new materials
In addition to exhibiting the restored films, the exhibition is also interactive and invites citizens to identify more closely with the people and places. Cards will be made available for visitors to fill in their personal information and give more meaning to some images that are already of great value.

The Santa María Cathedral Foundation website – - offers information about the exhibition, its funding and ways of contributing opinions and new materials.