The 53rd IFFI is pleased to honour the illustrious Spanish filmmaker Mr. Carlos Saura with
the Satyajit Ray Lifetime Achievement Award. As he celebrates his 90th birthday this year,
IFFI brings for its audiences a curation of Mr Saura’s award-winning films, which are but
cinematic expressions communicating with metaphors and symbolism
Carlos Saura Atarés (born 4 January 1932) is a Spanish film director, photographer and writer. Along with Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, he is one of Spain’s most renowned filmmakers. With a long and prolific career spanning over half a century, Saura’s films have won many international awards. His films are sophisticated expressions of time and space fusing reality with fantasy, past with present, and memory with hallucination.
He began his career in 1955 making documentary shorts and gained prominence when his first film ‘The Street Boys’ (1960) premiered at Cannes, but made no waves. However, the trip was not in vain as Saura met Luis Buñuel, who later came to strongly influence Saura’s work.
Although he began as a neorealist, Saura switched to films with metaphors and symbolism in order to get past the Spanish censors. In 1966, ‘The Hunt’ won the Silver Bear at Berlinale followed by Special Jury Awards for ‘Cousin Angélica’ (1973) and ‘Cría Cuervos’ (1975) in Cannes and an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film for ‘Mama Cumple 100 Años’ (1979).
1980s saw Saura make the Flamenco trilogy ‘Blood Wedding’ (1981), ‘Carmen’ (1983) and ‘Love the Magician’ (1986) in which he combined dramatic content and flamenco dance forms. The films were innovative versions of classic stories, made in collaboration with actor-dancer Antonio Gades.
To this day, Saura continues to make films which speak critically of his homeland.
In 2004, the jury of the European Film Awards honoured Carlos Saura for his life’s work.
In addition to his films, Saura’s favourite pastime is photography. The 85-year-old owns a collection of over 600 cameras and takes ‘at least one picture every day so as not to get out of practice,’ and exhibits his multi-award-winning photo collections.