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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Laureates  

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Woody Allen

Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts 2002

Allan Stewart Königsberg, Woody Allen (New York, USA, 1935),is a film director, actor, screenwriter, writer and musician. Ever since he won four Oscars in 1977 for the film “Annie Hall” –including one for Best Film–, he has made practically a film a year. Together with the quality of his work, this makes him a cinema phenomenon that is unique in world. He began his artistic career in the fifties, writing sketches for television actors and also publishing a huge number of articles, short stories and jokes for magazines such as “Playboy” and “New Yorker”. Having worked in many nightclubs as a humourist, he debuted in the cinema in 1965 as both scriptwriter and actor in the film “What’s new, Pussycat?”, which was followed by “What's up, Tiger Lily?” (1966) and “Casino Royale” (1967).

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It was in 1969 when Woody Allen demonstrated his talents as writer, actor and director simultaneously in “Take the Money and Run”, repeating the feat with “Bananas” (1971). In 1972 he adapted a sex education manual, the work of Dr. Reuben, for the big screen in “Everything you always wanted to know about sex”, and in 1973 he directed and acted in “Sleeper”. In 1978 he shot “Interiors”, which marked his first foray into the field of drama at the same time as being a tribute to European filmmakers such as Ingmar Bergman. The film “Manhattan”, which was premiered the following year, was to consecrate him as a director. He then went on to make “Zelig” (1983), “The Purple Rose of Cairo” (1985), “Hannah and her Sisters” (1986) –which was awarded three Oscars–, “Radio Days” (1987), “Husbands and Wives” (1992) and “Bullets over Broadway” (1994). His most recent work –“Celebrity”, “Deconstructing Harry”, “Small Time Crooks”, “The Curse of the Jade Scorpion”, “Hollywood Ending”, “Melinda and Melinda”, “Match Point”, “Scoop”– have continued to demonstrate his extraordinary talent and genius for ironic mockery of everything, including himself. His latest productions include “Cassandra’s Dream” (2007), “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008), “Whatever Works” (2009), “You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger” (2010) and “Midnight in Paris” (2011), "To Rome with Love" (2012), "Blue Jasmine" (2013) and "Magic in the Moonlight" (2014).

His vast output reflects a personal world with recurring themes such as religion, psychoanalysis, love and death. Possessed of a sharp and hilarious prose, he has published plays such as “Don’t Drink the Water” (1966) and “Play It Again Sam” (1969), as well as essays and numerous short stories. He is also the author of books such as “Getting Even” (1971) and “Side Effects” (1981), 

Among other distinctions, he has received the Golden Lion in Venice for Lifetime Achievement (1995), the San Sebastian Film Festival Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award (2004) and the Honorary Golden Ear of Corn Award at the Valladolid International Film Week, the SEMINCI (2008). He holds an honorary doctorate from the University Pompeu Fabra (2007) and has been distinguished with the honorary title of Friend of Barcelona by the City Council.

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