Filmmaker Víctor Erice will receive the Luis Buñuel Award at the 52nd Huesca International Film Festival. Born in Valle de Carranza (Vizcaya, 1940), Víctor Erice began his studies at the Official Film School in Madrid in his early twenties, graduating with a degree in Directing in 1963. In his early years, he combined film criticism with various jobs such as production secretary for Basilio Martín Patiño, screenwriter for Miguel Picazo and Antonio Eceiza, and actor in Manuel Revuelta’s Antoñito Vuelve a Casa. His graduation project (Los Días Perdidos) was selected to represent his school at the San Sebastian Film Festival, a festival where he would later win the Silver Shell with the collective medium-length film Los Desafíos, along with Claudio Guerín and José Luis Egea in the direction and Rafael Azcona collaborating on the script.

His first solo feature film was The Spirit of the Beehive (1973), a title that became a cult film and a key work within the so-called “New Spanish Wave”, along with other works by authors such as Carlos Saura, Mario Camus and Jaime De Armiñán. Produced by Elías Querejeta, the film starring Fernando Fernán Gómez won the Golden Shell and marked the acting debut of actress Ana Torrent at the age of just seven.

A decade would pass before he could present his next work on the big screen, a period he dedicated to the world of advertising and television programs. It was in 1983 that The South was released, based on the novel of the same name by Adelaida García Morales and featuring Icíar Bollaín among its actresses. Despite being planned as a two-part work, only the first part was finally shot and was selected by the Cannes Film Festival to compete for the Palme d’Or, receiving critical and public acclaim.

Almost another decade was needed to enjoy his third feature film Dream of Light (1992), a work with documentary overtones about the realist painter Antonio López. Again premiered at “La Croisette”, it won the Special Jury Prize and the International Critics Prize (FIPRESCI); a new masterpiece that has been designated on various occasions as one of the essential titles in the history of cinema.

In the second half of the 1990s he founded his own production company Nautilus Films and participated in a collective feature film (Celebrate Cinema 101) with other filmmakers such as Marco Bellocchio, Jonas Mekas and Aleksandr Sokúrov. This marked the beginning of a period in which the short film took a leading role in his filmography. The result of this period is Alumbramiento (2002), again a segment of the Ten minutes older: The trumpet project involving great names such as Jim Jarmusch, Aki Kaurismaki, Jean-Luc Godard, Bernardo Bertolucci and Wim Wenders; later came La morte Rouge (as part of the Erice-Kiarostami: Correspondences exhibition with Abbas Kiarostami himself), Ana, Tres Minutos, Cristales Rotos and Plegaria.

Only in 2023, 30 years after his last feature film, would he return to this format with Close your Eyes; a production that after premiering once again at the Cannes Film Festival, would begin a triumphant trajectory that would take him to the main festivals in the world such as Toronto, San Sebastian, Mar del Plata, Thessaloniki, Turin and Miami; in addition to giving one of its performers (Jose Coronado) the Goya Award and the Platino Award for best supporting actor.

To his credit are other recognitions such as the National Film Award in 1993; the Gold Medal for Merit in the Fine Arts in 1995; the Honorary Leopard dedicated to his entire career at the Locarno Film Festival in 2014 and Donostia Award at the San Sebastian Film Festival in 2023.

PREMIO LUIS BUÑUEL. Diseño: Isidro Ferrer.


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), Marisa Paredes (2019), Isabel Coixet (2020), Gonzalo Suárez (2021), Terry Gilliam (2022) and Aitana Sánchez-Gijón (2023).