VICTORIA ABRIL. Foto: Javier Naval

Actress Victoria Abril will receive the Luis Buñuel Award at the 52nd Huesca International Film Festival. She was born in Madrid (1959) and she showed her passion for the arts from a young age and at just 14, she made her acting debut in Francisco Lara Polop’s Obsesión. She later appeared in titles such as Richard Lester’s Robin and Marian, starring Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn. In the second half of the 1970s, her popularity skyrocketed as part of the historic Spanish quiz show “Un, dos, tres… responda otra vez” by Narciso Ibáñez Serrador for Televisión Española. During this period, she worked under the direction of Vicente Aranda in Change of Sex, leading to a fruitful collaboration that produced some of her most notable titles such as Tiempo de silencio, Si te Dicen que Caí, El Lute: Run for Your Life, and Lovers. In fact, for the last two films, she received the Silver Shell in San Sebastián and the Golden Bear in Berlin respectively.

In the 1980s, her name became a reference both in Spain, Italy, and France, where she developed a prolific career that earned her two César Award nominations. From this period, works such as Mater Amantissima, La Colmena, Bicycles are for the Summer, El Lute: Run for Your Life, and La Noche más Hermosa became part of the history of European cinema. She also appeared in television series such as Los Pazos de Ulloa.

During the last decade of the 20th century, she continued adding successes to her career with great directors like Pedro Almodóvar with High Heels or her iconic performance in Kika, Intruders by the aforementioned Aranda, and alongside Manuel Gómez Pereira in Between Your Legs. Her collaboration with Agustín Díaz Yanes resulted in Nobody Will Speak of Us When We’re Dead, a film that won her the Goya for Best Actress, one of the eight awards this production received, making it one of the most awarded in the history of these prizes.

The new millennium remained fruitful with projects such as Don’t Tempt Me by Agustín Díaz Yanes and her last project with Vicente Aranda, Tirant lo Blanc. For the first time, she worked with the director from Huesca, Carlos Saura, in The 7th Day, earning her another Goya nomination. Additionally, she demonstrated her versatile talent by surprising the music industry with an album of bossa nova classics, “Putcheros do Brasil”, followed by her second album, “Olala!.” “Six years of touring, 600 concerts worldwide, except in Spain, made me the happiest forty-something in the northern hemisphere!” claimed the artist herself.

Film, television, and theater both in Spain and France have been her main focuses in recent years, continuing to enrich a career decorated with honors such as the title of “Knight” of the French Legion of Honor, the Gold Medal for Fine Arts, and the Honorary Award from the European Film Awards.

The year 2024 marks the professional golden anniversary for Victoria Abril, a milestone she will celebrate by returning to the stage, headlining the play “Medusa” under the direction of José María del Castillo. After 45 years away from the Spanish stage, this summer she will star in this spectacular ephemeral superproduction (10 days) at the Roman Theater of Mérida, alongside other notable talents like Adrián Lastra (Perseus), Mariola Fuentes (Athena), and the debut of singer Ruth Lorenzo as an actress. This unique opportunity will see Abril, from a place of acceptance, pouring all her magnetism and passion into leaving no one indifferent, “because I am like Medusa, up to the very last scale of Equitea, fed up with the distortion and manipulation of facts,” as she herself declared.

This reinterpretation of the classic myth about the feared ancient monster with snake hair and a petrifying gaze will be shown from July 31 to August 11 at the famous Mérida Festival, and will then move to the Sagunto Festival (August 17 and 18) and the Niebla Festival in Huelva (August 24). A multidisciplinary production with 30 people on stage. It begins with Ruth Lorenzo accompanied by the Extremadura Chamber Choir, directed by Amaya Añua, and supported by 10 dancers (choreography by Alex Mañé), elevating the tragedy of Medusa to an epic level as the myth and the Mérida Theater demand. The character of Medusa will break the fourth wall to speak directly to the audience; humor, tragedy, irony, music, and visual art will delve into social-induced thinking, appearances, fear of the different, and the value of integrity in a society that has not changed much despite the passage of centuries.

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).