The Salamancan filmmaker, writer and director of Las truchas [Trout] and Divinas palabras [Divine Words], will receive the 62nd edition’s tribute at the Cinema Gala in Castilla León
José Luis García Sánchez (Salamanca, 1941) will receive the Valladolid International Film Festival’s Golden Spike of Honor in recognition of a five decade long career in which he has directed emblematic Spanish films such as Las truchas [Trout] (1978), Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival, and Divinas Palabras [Divine Words] (1987). His illustrious career also includes writing the original screenplay for films such as Belle Époque [The Beautiful Era] (1992), for which he won the Goya Award for Best Original Screenplay. He would go on the following year to win Best Adapted Screenplay for his adaptation of Valle-Inclán’s Tirano Banderas [The Tyrant Banderas] (1993).
The director will receive this recognition on October 23rd at the Castilla León Cinema Gala. This event will precede the Festival’s homage to the recently deceased Basilio Martín Patino (Lumbrales, Salamanca, 1930 – Madrid, 2017), who, as a matter of fact, García Sánchez worked with at the beginning of his filmmaking career. The two shot Queridísimos verdugos [Dearest Executioners] (1973), about the last men to be executioners in Spain, together.
Born in Salamanca, José Luis García Sanchez graduated in Law and Sociology from the University of Madrid, and in Directing from the Official School of Cinematography. He is an editor of children’s books, as well as an assistant director and screenwriter for television and film. Such films include Corazón solitario [The Lonely Heart] (1972) and Furia española [Spanish Fury] (1975), both by Francesc Betriu, in addition to the aforementioned Queridísimos verdugos [Dearest Executioners], and, finally, Camada negra [Black Litter] (1977), by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón.
García Sánchez made his directorial debut in 1972, with the comedy El love feroz [Ferocious Love]. After triumphing in the Berlin International Film Festival with Las truchas [Trout] (1978), he directed an episode of the series Cuentos para una escapada [Tales for an Escape] (1979), the documentary Dolores (1980), and feature films such as La corte del faraón [The Pharaoh’s Court], (1985), Divinas palabras [Divine Words] (1987), Pasodoble [Paso Doble] (1987), El vuelo de la paloma [The Flight of the Dove] (1988), which will be screened at the Castilla León Cinema Gala, or La noche más larga [The Longest Night] (1991).
In 1993 García Sánchez directed Tirano Banderas [The Tyrant Banderas], a new approach to the work of Valle-Inclán, after Divinas Palabras [Divine Words]. The film was screened in the Official Section of the 38th Week, and its lead actor, Gian Maria Volonté, won the Best Actor Award. García Sánchez returned to participate in the 49th Week with María querida [Dear Maria] (2004), a portrait of the famous thinker María Zambrano. Pilar Bardem, who played the titular character, went on to win the Award for Best Actress that year. Suspiros de España (y Portugal) [Sighs of Spain and Portugal] (1995), Siempre hay un camino a la derecha [There is Always a Right Way] (1997), Adiós con el corazón [Goodbye from the heart] (2000), Lázaro de Tormes (2001), La marcha verde [The Green March] (2002), Don Mendo Rock. ¿La venganza? [Don Mendo Rock. The Revenge?] (2010) and Los muertos no se tocan, nene [Do Not Touch The Dead, Darling] (2011) complete his filmography.