2013 Program

  Berri Ona     Urte Berri On Amona     Emak Bakia!    Basque Hotel




“A place in the frontier;
Three lovers,
two families;
and a bet:
The stone.”

In a town in the Basque country border, two families are involved in a bet, and, dragged by it, three young lovers, unable to pull themselves out of the inertia of the society they live in, cross their own fates and see time pass them by. It is an endless duel they can not escape from.




2011, directed by Alberto Gorritiberea, 100 minutes, color,

in Euskara & Castilian with English Subtitles.

Presented by Joseba Inaki Lopez de Luzuriaga


Alberto J. Gorritiberea

 From Zumaia (Guipuzca), he completed his studies in Madrid where he made several shorts, among them “Vegetal”, a piece which has been selected at various international festivals. His work in the audiovisual market began with editing, the publicity world and Basque television. Over the last few years he has written and directed his first feature film, “Eutsi!”, premiered in the cinema in 2007, as well as the documentary “1908-2008 and I continue …”, about the life and work of the sculptor, Jorge Oteiza, as well as “Flysch, Haitzen Hitza (The Whisper of the Rocks)”, a documentary that narrates the geological history of our Planet starting with the sea-cliffs of Zumaia.


Ondar Ahoak

(Mouths of Sand)


Tuna fish spend months hibernating after the active feeding season in the Cantabrian Sea. Each year these seasons are filmed in rings, leaving opaque areas due to the lack of food.


2010, directed by Angel Aldarondo, 4 minutes, in Euskara with English subtitles



Both films!

Friday, March 8th, 7:30pm, Basque Cultural Center

Free Admission.

Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080





The Martin Minaberry Library open house at the screening.



Guests arriving for the screening.



BEO Vice-Chair Marisa Espinal welcomes guests to the screening of Arrya.



Joseba Inaki Lopez de Luzuriaga introduces the film.








Berri Ona

A young priest arrives in his first assignment to a small parish serving a working-class village in Navarre in 1936. He is a witness of the military uprising that precipitates the Spanish Civil War and, moved by his faith, he stands up to defend his people. From the beginning of the war, the village where the young protagonist arrives remains within the area of the Francoist military insubordinates. It soon becomes a top target of repression for being considered as a “red village”.

The loneliness haunting him brings Miguel close to Margari, a young schoolteacher, whose husband was killed by the fascists. Margari becomes the only shelter in the path of Miguel’s helpless fight, as well as the only aid to offset his deep disappointment.

Based on a real story, the film portrays how the young priest commits himself to stand by his parishioners and how he denounces from the pulpit and before the Catholic Hierarchy the atrocities being committed on behalf of the Gospel (written of as a Holy Crusade) to the extent that he will risk his own life in the name of Christ.

A story of love, war and faith



2008, directed by Helena Taberna, 103 minutes, color,

in Euskara with English Subtitles.

Presented by Joseba Inaki Lopez de Luzuriaga



Helena Taberna

Helena Taberna started her audiovisual career as New Technologies Coordinator with the Government of Navarre. She has dedicated her working life exclusively to the cinema since 1994. Her films, long and short, have received critical and audience acclaim while landing numerous accolades at national and international festivals.

Yoyes, Helena Taberna's first feature, was released in March 2000, obtaining important box-office takings. Yoyes was one of the Spanish productions to win most international awards that year.


Friday, April 5th, 7:30pm, Basque Cultural Center

Free Admission.

Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080



Joseba Inaki Lopez de Luzuriaga presented the film and lead a lively discussion after the screening.




Urte Berri On, Amona!


Urteberri on, Amona! is a black comedy that follows the conflicts Mari’s family goes through while trying to looking after this peculiar grandmother.

Grandma Mari is draining the life out of her daughter Maritxu so her husband Joxemari decides to put her in a nursing home. Joxemari must take her in without his wife getting wind of the situation and to do so enlists the help of his son-in –law Kintxo. This may seem a simple task but the grandmother’s character causes a duel of unexpected consequences.

The director portrays the conflict in a humorous tone but also sheds light on dilemmas such as fear of solitude, loss of moral values, selfishness and family disintegration.



2011, directed by Telmo Esnal, 107 minutes, color,

in Euskara with English Subtitles.

Presented by Aitor Inarra



Telmo Esnal

Telmo Esnal (Zarautz, Gipuzkoa, 1966) Following a long career as an assistant director, Telmo Esnal co-directed with Asier Altuna the shorts TXOTX (1997) and 40 EZETZ (1999) and the feature AUPA EXTEBESTE! (2005), an entrant in the Zabaltegi-New Directors section of San Sebastian Festival’s 53rd edition from which it carried off the Youth Award. He also directed the shorts TAXI! (2007), AMONA PUTZ! (2010) & HAMAIKETAKOA(2012), which have landed prizes at different festivals.



Friday, May 3rd, 7:30pm, Basque Cultural Center

Free Admission.

Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080


Emak Bakia!

Basque Film Series - Special Edition

The Search for Emak Bakia.

An avant-garde film by Man Ray called Emak Bakia (“Leave me alone” in Basque) inspires this story of a quest. The house near Biarritz where Man Ray’s film was shot in 1926 bore that peculiar name and the creator of this new film decided to undertake a search on foot to find it. Only three views of that mansion exist: the image of its front door, two columns of a window, and a section of nearby coast. A search based on these old images would not be easy. There was nothing listed in the archives and no one today remembers the house. Therefore, he would ask for help and assistance from other informers, such as chance and the wind.

The BEO will host a meet and greet reception with the director before the screening (wine & cheese). To attend, please RSVP to Nicole Sorhondo at 415-285-0748 or at Info@BasqueEd.org





2012, directed by Oskar Alegria, 83 minutes, color & black & white,

in Euskara, Italian, French & Castilian with English Subtitles.

Presented by director Oskar Alegria



Oskar Alegria

Oskar Alegria (Irunea, Nafarroa, 1973)
Trained as a journalist, he began working as a reporter in Madrid on news programs for Canal Plus and CNN+. He has been an editor of cultural programs and the coordinator of shows dedicated to literature for the television channels Telemadrid (Los Cinco Sentidos-”The Five Senses”) and Euskal Telebista (Sautrela). In the area of gastronomic documentary, he has written and co-directed the series “Masters of Basque Cooking” for ETB-telebista with the chefs Arzak, Subijana, Aduriz, Berasategui and Arbelaitz.

Since 2002, he writes travel reports for the supplement to El País, El Viajero, and is the author of a photographic artistic project called “Las ciudades visibles” (“The Visible Cities”), endorsed by the author Enrique Vila-Matas. Since 2009, he is a professor of documentary scripts in the Masters of Audiovisual Scripts from the University of Navarra and he has led a Workshop in Abstract Photography for children in the Chillida-Leku Museum.







Emak Bakia! will also be screened at the San Francisco International Film Festival on May 4th, 6th and 9th. 

Click below for screen times and ticket information:




Emak Bakia was very well received at the SFIFF:





Here is the 1926 film - Emak Bakia, directed by Man Ray, that served as the inspiration for Oskar Alegria's documentary by the same name:




Man Ray

Legendary Photography, painter, and maker of objects and films, Man Ray was one of the most versatile and inventive artists of the 20th  century. Born in Philadelphia in 1890, he knew the worlds of Greenwich Village in the avant garde era following the 1913 Armory show; Paris in the 1920's and 1930's, where he played a key role in the Dada and Surrealist movements; The Hollywood of the 1940s, where he joined others chased by war from their homes in Europe; and finally, Paris again until his death in 1976. "

More on Man Ray...



Friday, May 17th, 7:00pm, Basque Cultural Center

Free Admission.

Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080





Basque Hotel


Basque Hotel is a U.S. road movie, a visual record, and testimony, in which stories are interwoven to create an overview of Basque emigration to this part of the world. It passes through the extensions of the old American West (Nevada, Idaho and California) and hits the streets of New York, the city where everything is a mix and comes to life. Five renowned novelists weave a web of real and fictional spaces through dialogue, history and experiences of the Basque community in the United States. In this literary tour, the voice-overs are heard giving fragments of the various novels of the writers (Robert Laxalt, Bernardo Atxaga, Asun Garikano, Joseba Zulaika and Kirmen Uribe). The testimonies of these players and their writings rebuild their visions and American experiences, sketching a spectacular journey from the Basque Country to the United States; and from the Basque Hotel to the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.



2011, directed by Josu Venero, 80 minutes, color,

in Euskara & English with English Subtitles.

Presented by Dr. Pedro Oiarzabal



Friday, July 19th, 7:30pm, Basque Cultural Center

Free Admission.

Basque Cultural Center, 599 Railroad Ave, South San Francisco, CA 94080