Josep Maixenchs, founder of ESCAC, dies

The Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya (ESCAC), communicates with great sadness, the death of its founder, Josep Maixenchs.
10.05.18 - School,

The Escola Superior de Cinema i Audiovisuals de Catalunya (ESCAC), announces with great sadness, the death of its founder, Josep Maixenchs.

A farewell ceremony will take place on Wednesday 16 May at 6pm at ESCAC (Terrassa).

The filmmaker Josep Maixenchs (Terrassa, 1943) founded the ESCAC in 1994, creating the first official university studies in film and audiovisuals in the country.

In the almost 25 years since its foundation, ESCAC has trained nearly 6,000 students of 23 nationalities, constituting a new generation of filmmakers that includes Juan Antonio Bayona, Javier Ruiz Caldera, Mar Coll, Elena Trapé, Nely Reguera, Oriol Tarragó, Kike Maíllo, among many others.

Throughout his career, Maixenchs has received dozens of awards, including the González-Sinde Award from the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Cinematographic Sciences (2005), the Honorary María de Honorífica from the Sitges International Fantastic Film Festival of Catalonia (2010), the Creu de Sant Jordi (2012), the National Culture Award from the Generalitat de Catalunya (2015), and the Gold Medal of the cities of Terrassa and Barcelona.


«I am a dreamer and I dream of a country where culture, cinema and audiovisual communication lead us to excellence. Through audiovisuals we want to be better citizens, making a different world, a happier one, without pessimism, and one that holds on to its feelings.»– Josep Maixenchs


Josep Maixenchs’ legacy is based on the creation, through ESCAC, of a new generation of filmmakers and, above all, on the consolidation of a professional and human community that will always remember him:

«Josep was a man hooked on a dream: to make a film school. He was able to bring together a group of young people who had another dream: to make films. And together we kept dreaming, together, until the film school became a reality. Thank you Josep, for letting us share your dreams and for making ours come true. We owe you everything we are.»- Guillem Morales

«Josep was a visionary, a man of infinite generosity and a teacher with the uncanny ability to learn from his students. I had the honour of enjoying his wisdom, administrative management, political tensions and love of cinema. ESCAC has trained many of the best film professionals in this country and today, with sadness, but also with the half smile that Josep liked to wear, we say goodbye to the man who set it all in motion. To honour his legacy and live life as he lived it, with work, ambition, but also with a wonderful capacity for enjoyment, is the greatest lesson we should remember. I hope our cinema pays him the tribute he deserves.» – Jaume Ripoll

«Maixenchs was a tireless, enthusiastic man, a visionary who fought to make film education official when no one believed in it. When he succeeded, he dedicated his life to training entire generations of film professionals. Those of us who finally managed to make our way in the profession will be eternally grateful to such generosity.»- Juan Antonio Bayona

«I am a firm believer in the idea of inheritance. I like to think that there are tens of thousands of people who have changed your life with their decisions. Dreamers whose yearnings, discoveries or spirit have made your quality of life markedly different. Better. Normally you are not lucky enough to meet these people, but that is not the case with Josep Maixenchs. I did know him, and very well. His dream of creating a “film career” changed my life. It literally turned my life upside down. And it certainly made me a little freer. I was lost and disillusioned in another career and to know that something like this was going to be born, to find out that being a film director, editor or photographer was going to be able to be studied at the University, made me rethink everything. I don’t know where I would be if it hadn’t been for that inspiring dream or how far or how close I would be to being the person I am now. But I like to think that women and men with the will of Maichenchs are the ones who inspire us to continue transforming things for the better and making others a little freer. Josep, moltes mercés de tot cor. Bon viatge.»- Kike Maíllo

«A visionary, a great enthusiast with a lively spirit, a fighter and a film lover. Personally, I consider him directly responsible for my professional career and that of many others. Thanks to him, today cinema is a reality in the way we understand it. Josep rests. The spirit continues.»- Oriol Tarragó