Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodovar

Pedro Almodóvar

Spanish filmmaker

Date of birth: 24th September, 1949

Place of birth: La Mancha, Spain

His mother: Francisca Caballero

His father: Agustín Almodovar

1968 Young Pedro Almodovar moded to Madrid and worked selling used articles at the flea-market El Rastro. He wanted to study filmmaking but couldn't afford it.

He was born in Calzada de Calatrava, province of Ciudad Real, in the heart of La Mancha, in the 50s. When he was eight, he emigrated with his family to Estremadura. There he studied for his elementary and high school diplomas in spite of the Salesian Fathers and the Franciscans. At seventeen, he left home and moved to Madrid, with no money and no job, but with a very specific project in mind: to study cinema and direct films. It was impossible to enroll in the Official Film School because Franco had just closed it. As he couldn’t learn the language, he decided to learn the content, that is, life, living… Despite the dictatorship that was suffocating the country, for an adolescent from the provinces Madrid represented culture, independence and freedom. He worked at many, sporadic jobs but couldn’t buy his first Super-8mm camera until he got a “serious” job at the National Telephone Company of Spain where he worked for twelve years as an administrative assistant, twelve years which he also devoted to multiple activities which provided his real training as a filmmaker and as a person. In the mornings, in the Telephone Company, he got an in-depth knowledge of the Spanish middle class at the start of the consumer era, its dramas and its misfortunes, a real gold mine for a future story teller. In the evenings and nights, he wrote, loved, acted with the mythical independent theater group Los Goliardos and made films in Super-8 (his only school as a filmmaker). He collaborated with various underground magazines and wrote stories, some of which were published. He was a member of a parodic punk-rock group, Almodóvar and McNamara, etc. He had the good fortune that the opening of his first film in commercial cinemas coincided with the beginning of democracy in Spain. After 18 months of eventful shooting on 16mm, in 1980 he opened “Pepi, Luci, Bom…”, a no-budget film made as a cooperative effort with the rest of the crew and the cast, all beginners, except for Carmen Maura. In 1986, he founded the production company El Deseo S.A. with his brother Agustín. Their first project was “Law of Desire”. Since then, they have produced all the films that Pedro has written and directed, and have also produced other young directors. In 1988, “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown” brought him international recognition. Since then, his films have opened all around the world. With “All About my Mother” he won his first Academy Award for Best Foreign Film, and also the Golden Globe, the César, 3 European Film Awards, the David de Donatello, 2 BAFTAs, 7 Goyas and 45 other awards. Three years later, “Talk to Her” had the same or better fortune (Academy Award for Best Script, 5 European Film Awards, 2 BAFTAs, the Nastro de Argento, the César and many other awards throughout the world but not in Spain). He produced three very special films, highly rated throughout the world for their valor and delicacy (“My Life Without Me”, “The Holy Girl” and “The Secret Life of Words”). In 2004, “Bad Education” was chosen to open the Cannes Festival. It received extraordinary reviews throughout the world, was nominated for numerous awards (Independent Spirit Awards, BAFTAs, César, European Film Awards) and won the prestigious Award for Best Foreign Film given by the New York Critics’ Circle, and also the Nastro de Argento. Today, he is probably the director who enjoys the greatest freedom and independence when working.

1971 Almodovar worked at the Spanish Phone Company

1972 He was able to buy a Super 8 camera and made his first short films, being a part of the cultural pop mouvement of La Movida, in Spain.

1975 He was the lead singer of the duo Almodovar and McNamara in Spain.

1980 Almodovar first relatively successful film was the 16mm Pepi, Luci, Bom y otras chicas del montón which was made a 35 mm for it's public release.

1987 Together with his brother Agustin, Pedro Almodóvar established a production company: El Deseo, S. A. (The Wish).

1994 He directed the film Tacones Lejanos, starring the Spanish pop singer Miguel Bosé, playing the role of a drag queen and singer

1999 Almodovar released his first acclaimed film Todo Sobre Mi Madre (All About my Mother).

2002 He directed the film Hable Con Ella (Talk to Her), the story of a ballerina that has an accident and is in a coma.

2004 Almodovar directed the film La Mala Educación (Bad Education) with Gael García, a very talented mexican actor. This film is based in Almodovar's experience at a boarding catholic school