The Ciudad de Huesca Carlos Saura Award at the 49th edition of the Huesca International Film Festival goes to Michel Franco (Mexico City, 1979). This author presents a social and direct cinema from a creative freedom that allows him to reconcile direction, scriptwriting, and production. His career began at the end of the 90s with various short films, but 2003 was a turning point in his career with Entre dos; Many festivals have highlighted his work, among them the Alto Aragonese event that tributes him with its highest recognition, the Danzante Prize. His debut feature film Daniel & Ana (2009) was selected in the “Director’s Fortnight” at the Cannes Film Festival. He then returned to that festival with After Lucía and won the “Un Certain Regard” section. Impressed by his work, Oscar-nominated actor Tim Roth starred in Chronic; for which Franco won the award for Best Screenplay in the official section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2015. His fourth visit to “La Croisette” was with Las hijas de abril (2017), a feature film which also competed at the San Sebastián Festival and that has granted his actresses with various recognitions. Emma Suarez was nominated for the Platinum Awards, while the Mexican Ana Valeria Becerril received the Ariel for Best Newcomer.
His most recent work, Nuevo Orden, won the Grand Jury Prize at the last Venice Film Festival, as well as the José María Forqué Award for Best Latin American Film. The film that deeps into the social and political differences of his native country also won the favor of both critics and public; While specialized media described it as “one of the best films of the year”, it reached the first position at the box office during the week of its premiere in Spain.
As a producer, his work goes beyond his own filmography and highlights his commitment to new talents in Latin American audiovisuals. He produced 600 Millas by Gabriel Ripstein, which won the award for Best First Film at the Berlin Film Festival (2015), and Desde Allá by Lorenzo Vigas, which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival (2015); He is also behind Mano de Obra by David Zonana, another debut film which was recognized in Zurich, Havana and Morelia, among other top-level film events.
With the City of Huesca Award, Huesca International Film Festival recognizes the bright professional career of young figures of the world cinema which, in addition, have a promising professional future. It has been awarded since 1991, and in 2018 the Huesca Film Festival Foundation, along with the Festival’s management team and the filmmaker Carlos Saura, decide to change the nomenclature of the prize to denominate Carlos Saura City of Huesca, with the approval of the director. Carlos Saura, born in Huesca, has one of the most awarded international filmographies, one of the names with capital letters in the history of the seventh art and thus intends to pay a sincere tribute to the city festival that saw him born.
The Carlos Saura City of Huesca Award has honoured the career of figures such as Carlos Saura (1991), José María Forqué (1992), Fernando Trueba (1993), Imanol Uribe (1994), Arturo Ripstein (1995), Gerardo Herrero (1996), Francisco J. Lombardi (1997), Manuel Gutierrez Aragón (1998), Bigas Luna (1999), Ventura Pons (2000), Juanjo Puigcorbé (2001), Vicente Aranda (2002), Zelimir Kilnik (2003), Mercedes Sampietro (2004), Julio Medem (2005), Gracia Querejeta (2006), Marc Recha (2007), José María Escriche (2008), Basilio Martín Patino (2009), Montxo Armendáriz (2010), José Luis Guerin (2011), Icíar Bollaín (2012), Adriana Ugarte (2014), Silvia Abascal (2015), Paula Ortiz (2016), Leticia Dolera (2017), Aura Garrido (2018), Rodrigo Sorogoyen & Isabel Peña (2019), and Anna Castillo (2020).