ZINEBI, fifty and one years of cinema in Bilbao


The Bilbao International Festival of Documentary Cinema and Short Films (ZINEBI) celebrated its fiftieth anniversary last year 2008. Created in 1959 by the Instituto Vascongado de Cultura Hispánica, a body that was at that time dependent on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, under the initial title of International Ibero-American and Philippine Documentary Cinema Competition, was originally created as a sister festival to the neighbouring San Sebastian Festival, but early on, around 1968, coinciding with the boom in short fiction films in Spain, it discovered its own identity in this field and was able to broaden its scope internationally. In 1974 it was recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as a competitive festival in the categories of fiction, documentary and animation and in 1987 its organisation and management were institutionally taken over by Bilbao City Council. In its last edition, the 2648 submitted films, originating from 75 countries, confirmed its consolidation as one of the most important festivals in the world in its specialised field. ZINEBI has played host, either as participants, international jury members or winners of its Mikeldi de Honor award, to such important film-makers as Jacques Demy, Pierre Perrault, Claude Lelouch, Santiago Álvarez, Richard Lester, Barbara Kopple, Peter Greenaway, Ennio Morricone, Carlos Saura, Julio Medem, Roman Polanski, Hanna Schygulla, Anna Karina, Jane Birkin, Elías Querejeta, Arturo Ripstein or Père Portabella.


Bilbao, with ZINEBI at the forefront, is today committed to the development of the audiovisual industry in the city and in the Basque Country as one of the hallmarks of its renewed international presence following the spectacular urban regeneration that has put it on the world stage and has allowed it to become a modern and competitive space in the dawning of the 21st century. Cutting-edge cultural facilities such as the Guggenheim Museum and La Alhóndiga, the establishment in the city of the new broadcasting headquarters of the Basque public radio and television operator (EITB), the creation of a growing number of companies devoted to audiovisual production and the recently set up Bilbao Film Commission (BiFiC) for the promotion of film shoots in its streets and around its landmarks show the determination of a city and a cinema festival to make its history an excellent means of looking towards its future.



Ernesto del Río - Director - ernesto@zinebi.com

Luis Eguiraun - Programmer - luis@zinebi.com

Inés Intxausti - General Secretary - ines@zinebi.com

Lucia Goitia - Prints Traffic - lucia@zinebi.com




Colón de Larreátegui 37 4ª d

48009  BILBAO

Tel  00 34 944 24 86 98

Fax  00 34 944 24 56 24