With its first film screening held in 1887, Terrassa had already begun to establish itself as one of the pioneer cities in Spain for the film industry. Reinterpreting the industrial modernism on which its growth was based during the 20th century, the city set about consolidating its film industry in the first few years of the 21st century through the development of an educational ecosystem with audiovisual training and the building of the Centre for Conservation and Restoration of the Catalonian Film Archive, which spans one hundred years of regional cinema history. The city has, over the last decade, witnessed the development of a major amateur film movement, led in particular by the architect Jan Baca and the painter Antoni Padrós, who approach cinema as a new, cross-cutting and universal language.
In addition to being one of the most important centres of audiovisual creation in Spain, Terrassa is the location of the Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals (ESCAC) which counts among its alumni Juan Antonio Bayona, the director of The Impossible and The Orphanage, which was awarded the Goya Prize. Working jointly with the municipality, ESCAC is behind the Base Film Festival, an event interspersed with screenings of the first films of young talent. Terrassa is also home to the Catalonia Audiovisual Park (Parc Audiovisual de Catalunya - PAC), a major production centre composed of a number of film studios, an incubator for the creative industries and an enterprise cluster.
Through the Baumann Lab, Terrassa Municipality offers a specific programme of creativity grants intended for young artists, one of which directly supports experimental audiovisual projects. Reaffirming its strategic commitment to training, it also partly sponsors ESCAC through bursaries provided to students. Building on its experience with other city networks, such as Eurocities, and international programmes including Interreg Med, Terrassa is seeking to consolidate and share its expertise in international cooperation with other Creative Cities to promote sustainable development backed by cultural industries.
As a Creative City of Film, Terrassa envisages:
- fostering intercultural dialogue among young audiences through the ‘Film at School’ programme which seeks to train teachers in technical and practical storytelling methods and film production, which will be widely disseminated among other Creative Cities through the creation of hubs - the results of this experiment will be seen in 2020 when an International 'Film at School' Festival will be organised;
- creating a Virtual Reality Cinema Unit, the goal of which will be to support projects that experiment with cinematic language and are adapted to emerging technologies by fostering knowledge transfer among film professionals, notably from other Creative Cities;
- creating an exhibit tracing an itinerary through film production spaces within the city; and
- promoting the Creative Cities Network through other European and international networks and supporting cooperation and exchanges with cities in Africa.