Director, scriptwriter and producer Isabel Coixet will be awarded the Luis Buñuel Prize in this edition of 48th Huesca International Film Festival. Isabel Coixet (Barcelona, 1960) is one of the most awarded Spanish filmmakers. Her passion for cinema started as a child, when she was given an 8 mm camera on the occasion of her First Communion. After obtaining a BA degree in History at Barcelona University, she started professionally in the world of advertising where she received countless awards.
Some time later, she arrived to the world of cinema and after producing the short film Mira y verás (1984), she directed her first work Demasiado viejo para morir joven (1989); she both directed and wrote the script of a film that brought her first nomination to the Goya Awards as Best New Director. It was followed by Things I Never Told You in 1996, her first English-language movie, and two years later, by A los que aman.
In 2000, she founded her own production company, Miss Wasabi Films, her international success came three years later thanks to My Life Without Me. Afterwards, she produced titles such as The Secret Life of Words (2005), that was awarded four Goyas; Elegy (2008); Map of the Sounds of Tokyo (2009); Aral. The Lost Sea (2010); Listening to Judge Garzón (2011), that won the Goya in the Best Documentary category; White Tide (2012); Yesterday Never Ends (2013), that won three Silver Biznagas at Málaga Festival; Another Me (2013) and Learning to Drive (2014).
2015 was another important year for her career, her film Nobody Wants the Night, starred by Juliette Binoche and once again winner of four Goyas, opened the 66th edition of Berlin Festival: she was the second woman in the festival history to achieve it. In addition, that same year she received the prize of the French Ministry of Culture of Knight of Arts and Letters. With a cinematographic language that equally adapts to short and to length film, to fiction and to documentary; Isabel kept achieving success with titles such as Talking about Rose. Prisoner of Hissène Habré (2015); Spain in a Day (2016); The Bookshop (2017) won the Goya Awards in the Best Film, Best Director and Best Script categories, this sums up to a total of eight direct awards to the filmmaker, who became the most awarded woman in the history of this prizes.
Currently, after having premiered her last feature film Elisa & Marcela (2019) at Berlin Festival, she embarked on a new challenge with her first series, Foodie Love (2019), achieving critical and audience success. At present she is post-producing her new work: It Snows in Benidorm.
The Luis Buñuel Award honours a career and a professional life in the world of cinema. It was established in 1998 gathering the feelings of the Management Committee, after the festival held several ceremonies in Buñuel’s honour and following the approval of his sons Juan Luis and Rafael.
The initial trophy was created by the renowned artist from Huesca Eduardo Cajal, produced in bronze and detachable. It represented the threshold of a door and, according to the author, was inspired by the feature film The Exterminating Angel.
Nine years afterwards, the image of the trophy was changed, concretely in the 34th edition, by the artist from Zaragoza Fernando Sinaga. It was a spread out fan that, according to the author, represented at the same time ‘seduction’ and the idea of ‘the secret and the occult’.
In the 42nd edition, a new trophy was requested to Huesca born artist Antonio Santos by the new direction. The new award, christened as The Chorus Girl, broke with the traditional trophy concept. The work, designed by Huesca born artist Antonio Santos, consisted of different parts that make up the figure of a chorus girl.
Since 2020, the designer of the trophy is Isidro Ferrer, Design National Award winner, a Madrid-born artist based in Huesca.
The trophy portraits an ant, that is what the authors says: “Luis Buñuel’s entomological fondness and training is known, also his inclination to introduce several arthropods in his films”. The list that feeds his particular zoo is extensive: spiders, scorpions, crabs, butterflies, bees, flies, mosquitoes, grasshoppers, cockroaches, neuropterans, beetles. This varied fauna that sprinkles his extensive filmography holds symbolic significance.
One of the most iconic scenes that best define this Buñuelian drive for insects might be that of the ants of his first movie An Andalusian Dog, from which the inspiration for this trophy-homage springs.
Among the most outstanding personalities who have received this award, there can be found José Luis Borau (1998), Michel Piccoli (1999), Silvia Pinal (2000), Patrice Leconte (2001), Aki Kaurismaki (2002), Jerzy Kawalerowicz (2003), Jean Troell (2004), André Techiné (2005), Pedro Armendáriz Jr. (2006), Vittorio y Paolo Taviani (2007), Bertrand Tavernier (2008), Theo Angelopoulos (2009), Ángela Molina (2010), Elías Querejeta (2011), Stephen Fears (2012), Adolpho Arrietta (2013), Carlos Saura (2014), Laurent Cantet (2015), Jean Claude Carrière (2016), Costa Gavras and Alex de la Iglesia (2017), José Sacristán (2018) and Marisa Paredes (2019).