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Pedro Almodóvar

Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts 2006

Pedro Almodóvar (Calzada de Calatrava, Ciudad Real, Spain, 1951) is one of Spain’s most internationally acclaimed filmmakers. He moved to Madrid in 1967, where he found sporadic work as an actor. After passing a state examination to become a civil servant, he joined Spain’s National Telephone Company as a clerk, combining his work with his cinema pursuits. He made a number of short films between 1974 and 1978 and also spent the seventies involved in the theatre, music and writing for magazines. He made his first feature film, “Pepi, Luci, Bom and Other Girls on the Heap” in 1980. The film was a success, which enabled him to leave his job in the telephone company to work full-time in the cinema. In 1985 he launched a production company called El deseo along with his brother Agustín and has since produced his own and other directors’ films. Almodóvar firmly established his reputation as a successful director with “What have I done to deserve this?” (1984), hailed by the critics as his best film. He has written and directed films like “Labyrinth of Passion” (1982), “Dark Habits” (1983), “Matador” (1985), “Law of Desire” (1986), “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” (1987), “Tie Me Up! Tie me Down!” (1989), “High Heels” (1990), “Kika” (1993), “The Flower of My Secret” (1995), “Live Flesh” (1997), “All about My Mother” (1999), “Bad Education” (2004), “Volver” (2006) and “Broken Embraces” (2009). His latest works are “The Skin I live In” and "I'm So Excited!" (2013). His highly charged, dramatic films tend to delve into the fringes of suburban society. Besides writing his own film scripts and directing his films, Almodóvar also published a novel entitled “Fuego en las entrañas” in 1982.

He has received over forty accolades in the course of his career, including two Oscars, one for best foreign-language film with “All about My Mother” in 2000, and the other for best original screenplay with “Talk to Her” in 2003. He has also received four Goya Awards: best film and best original screenplay for “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” in 1989, and best film and best director for “All about my Mother” in 2000. In France he has won three Cesar Awards: best foreign-language film for “High Heels” in 1993, best foreign-language film for “All about my Mother” in 2000 and best European Union film for “Talk to Her” in 2003. . He has won two UK Bafta Awards: best film not in the English language for “All about My Mother” in 2000 and in 2003 for “Talk to Her”. In 2005, the New York Film Critics’ Circle honoured “Bad Education” with the Best Foreign Film award. That same year, “Talk to Her” was acclaimed as the best film of the past decade by the American magazine Time. The French Film Archive and the Ministry of Culture and Communication organised an exhibition dedicated exclusively to Almodóvar and his films in 2006.

Knight of the French Order of the Legion of Honour (1997), he holds Spain’s Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (1998) and an honorary degree from Harvard University (2009).

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