Fernando Léon de Aranoa at TIFF 2011 | TIFF

Fernando Léon de Aranoa at TIFF 2011

31.05.2011 03:00

One of the three directors presented in the traditional section 3 X 3 – Spanish filmmaker Fernando Léon de Aranoa comes Cluj.

Aranoa is one of the special guests of the tenth edition of TIFF.

Born in Madrid, in 1968, Aranoa has become one of the most valued Spanish film directors, with award-winning films present in festivals all around the world, being one of the favorites at the Goya Awards.

Aranoa had his debut in 1994 with the short film Sirenas. His feature film debut was in 1996, with Family, with a script also signed by him. The script was later on turned into a theatre play, performed in several countries. Aranoa won with this film the Goya Award for Best New Director.

In 1998, he wrote and directed Barrio, which brought him two Goya awards, for Best Director and Best Original Script, along with many other awards at renowned film festivals.

In 2002, he directed Los Lunes Al Sol / Mondays in the Sun, starring Javier Bardem in one of the leading parts, main winner at that year's edition of the Goyas, with 5 awards, including those for Best Film and Best Director.

His forth feature, Princesas / Princesses, made in 2005, represents his debut as producer with his own production company -  Reposado. Another Goya favorite, Princesas won awards for each of the leading actresses and for Manu Chao for the song he composed for the film's soundtrack. The film was also presented at Sundance Film Festival.

His 2002 documentary, Walking brought him a new series of awards, at film festivals in Havana, Los Angeles, New York. In 2007 he directed the Good Night, Ouma segment of the Invisibles, a series of short films made by directors such as Mariano Barroso, Isabel Coixet, Wim Wenders and Javier Corcuera, winner of the Goya award for Best Documentary.

At TIFF 2011, alongside the German film director Werner Herzog and Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael, Aranoa is presented within the 3 X 3 section with three representative films.

Los Lunes al Sol / Mondays in the Sun is a touching drama about a group of working-class men who find themselves suddenly unemployed and unwanted in their middle age. Laid off from the local shipyard, the men spend their days at the town bar, where they reminisce, philosophize, and commiserate about their current state. Gruff Santa puts up a tough front, refusing to sink into self-pity, and occasionally pricking his friends' hopes. Morose José openly worries about his wife, whom he fears might leave him. That seems to have been the fate of Amador, the oldest of the bunch, who keeps reassuring everyone that his wife will be back any day now from her trip... The film won the  Golden Seashell for Best Film, the FIPRESCI Award, SIGNIS Award and CEC Award at San Sebastian 2002, Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Javier Bardem), Best Supporting Actor (Luis Tosar) at the Goya Awards 2003.

Amador, Aranoa's most recent film, from 2010, tells the story of Marcela, a young woman in financial straits. She is delighted when she finds a new job: she is to spend the summer looking after an old, bedridden man named Amador and keep him company every day as long as his relatives are on holiday. Marcela and Amador are soon sharing all sorts of secrets, including the fact that Marcela is pregnant. The relationship that evolves between them from now on may well stem from this proximity between life and death, but then, one day, Amador dies. His death makes Marcela unemployed and puts the young woman in a quandary. But she finds a way out of her moral dilemma. Together with Amador, Marcela will prove that death doesn’t necessarily put an end to life. The film was presented at Berlin Film Festival in 2011.

Familia / Family, Aranoa's film from 1996, brought him the Best New Director award,the  Audience Award and the FIPRESCI Special Mention at Valladolid Film Festival in 1996. The films centers on Santiago, who one morning gets out of bed and his entire family is waiting for him in the kitchen, singing Happy Birthday to him when he shows up, kiss him, give him presents, hug him. But Santiago doesn’t like his young son’s gift and he doesn’t believe the boy when he says he loves him, and for that, just for that, shouts at him, throws him out, gets angry with everyone else and demands a better son, one who doesn’t wear glasses, who isn´t so fat and who, if posible, looks a bit like him. Who hasn’t dreamed some time of having a custom-made family?

The 3 X 3 section is presented by Cinemax.