José Luis Alcaine, Jose Coronado, Álex de la Iglesia and Mercedes Sampietro to receive Valladolid’s Honorary Spikes

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  • The Festival will  present them with their awards in the course of the special gala of Spanish Cinema scheduled for October 26

Cinematographer José Luis Alcaine, actor Jose Coronado,  director Álex de la Iglesia and actress Mercedes Sampietro will receive the Spike of Honor of the Valladolid International Film Festival, which recognises the long-term achievements  of  prestigious film professionals  whose filmographies encompass  some of the essential titles in the history of Spanish cinema. Seminci will present the awards during the Spanish Cinema Gala, which will take place on October 26 at Teatro Calderón. As already published on this website,  renowned actor Emilio Gutiérrez Caba will also receive this distinction, in his case during the Castile and León Film and Audiovisual Gala on October 25.

José Luis Alcaine

José Luis Alcaine (Tetouan, 1938) has dedicated his entire life to lighting films as a cinematographer. His filmography has earned him the National Film Award (1989), five Goyas —a prize for which he was nominated  on 15 other occasions— , the Award of the European Film Academy (2006), the Gold Medal of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Spain (2011) and the Gold Medal for  Merit in Fine Arts (2017). Trained first in a small photography lab in Tetouan and later at Madrid’s  Official Film  School,  his career encompasses  more than 160 productions of all kinds since the 1960s. It would be impossible to produce  an exhaustive inventory  of titles here.

The list of directors who have signed him on as cinematographer  includes Bigas Luna (A Tale of Ham and Passion, Golden Balls, Sound of the Sea, The Tit and the Moon), Fernando Trueba (The Queen of Spain, Two Much, Belle Époque, Twisted Obsession), Fernando Colomo (Rivales, South from Granada), Emilio Martínez-Lázaro (13 Roses), Vicente Aranda (Tirant the White, Jealousy, Freedomfighters, Turkish Passion, Intruder, Lovers: A True Story , El Lute), Adolfo Aristaráin (Roma), Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón (Don Quixote, Knight Errant, Demons in the Garden), Pedro Olea (Beyond the Garden, Akelarre), Pilar Miró (The Bird of Happiness), Carlos Saura (Ay, Carmela!), Fernando Fernán Gómez (The Sea and the Weather,  Mambru Went to War, Voyage to Nowhere), Antonio Giménez-Rico (Jarrapellejos, Family Portrait), Basilio Martín Patino (The Lost Paradises), José Luis García Sánchez (Hay que deshacer la casa, The Court of the  Pharao), Montxo Armendáriz (Tasio), Víctor Erice (The South) or Josefina Molina (Vera, a Cruel Story).

One of his most recent works is Parallel Mothers, his latest collaboration with Pedro Almodóvar, for whom he also worked  in Pain and Glory, The Human Voice, I’m so Excited!,  The Skin I Live In,  To Return (European Film Academy Award in 2006), Bad Education, Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

He has won  five Goya awards for Twisted Obsession (1989) and Belle Époque (1992), both by Fernando Trueba; The Bird of Happiness (Pilar Miró, 1993), Don Quixote, Knight Errant (Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón, 2002) and 13 Roses (Emilio Martínez Lázaro, 2007). Alcaine has also participated in television productions, both fiction (Doctor Mateo, by Manuel Tera), and documentary (Rutas de Andalucía, by Gracia Querejeta).

Jose Coronado

With  Seminci’s Honorary Spike, Jose Coronado adds a new recognition to a long list of accolades in a career that comprises  around fifty titles and includes performances in roles covering a wide range of types: Berlin Blues, by Ricardo Franco; I’m the One, by Luis Sanz; Anita Takes a Chance, by Ventura Pons; Wolf, by Miguel Courtois; Nobody’s Life, by Eduard Cortés; Todos estamos invitados, by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón; Dying Beyond Their Means, by Isaki Lacuesta; or To Steal from a Thief,  by Daniel Calparsoro. He will soon hit a hat-trick  with the upcoming release of La mujer perfecta, by Arantxa Echevarría, Way Down, by Jaume Balagueró, and Stories Not to Be Told, by Cesc Gay.

Coronado has been a nominee for the Goya Award on four occasions, two as Best  Supporting actor for Goya in Bordeaux (1998), by Carlos Saura,  and Box 507 (2001), by Enrique Urbizu, before  he finally bagged  the statuette for   Best Actor for  No Rest for the Wicked  (2012), also by Urbizu, a performance which also earned him a prize from the Actors Union ,  a  Sant Jordi Award, a Silver Fotogramas  and a Forqué Award, after which he ceased to be typecast as the handsome lead and played a number of roles  as  man of action and thriller protagonist . He achieved his fourth nomination with Your Son (2019), by Miguel Ángel Vivas, a film that opened the 63rd edition of Seminci.

In parallel to his film career, Coronado has also developed a remarkable trajectory as an actor in  TV fictions, where he achieved great popularity with roles in Brigada Central (1990-1992), Periodistas (1998-2002), El Príncipe (2014-2016 ), Es por tu bien (2017), Unauthorised Living (2018-2020), Giants (2018) —produced by Movistar + and again with Urbizu at the helm—, or The Innocent (2021) for Netflix.

Álex de la Iglesia

Almost 20 titles mark the career of the filmmaker Álex de la Iglesia, who has signed several  essential movies in the history of Spanish cinema of the last 30 years. His short film Mirindas asesinas (1990) caught the attention of Pedro Almodóvar, who produced his first feature in 1993, Mutant Action, the winner of three Goya awards. Two years later he directed The Day of the Beast, awarded with six Goyas, including one for  Best Direction. These were followed by Dance with the Devil (1997), starring Javier Bardem, and Dead of Laughter (1999) with Santiago Segura.

In 2000 he directed Common Weakth, starring Carmen Maura, who won a Goya for Best Actress, and featuring  a cast of first-rate supporting actors, including  Emilio Gutiérrez Caba, the winner of a Goya Award in that category for his performance in the film. This  was followed by 800 bullets (2002), Ferpect Crime (2004) and The Oxford Murders (2008), the adaptation of the novel by Argentine writer Guillermo Martínez and the first international directing job by De la Iglesia, who brought together in the film’s cast Elijah Wood, John Hurt and Leonor Watling. Two years later he directed The Last Circus (2010), which won two awards at the Venice Film Festival.

After ‘As Luck Would Have It’  (2011), starring Salma Hayek and José Mota, he directed Witching & Bitching (2013), with Hugo Silva, Mario Casas, Carmen Maura, Terele Pávez and Carolina Bang, a film which harvested no fewer than  eight Goyas. In 2014 he directed a documentary about Messi for Mediapro, which he shot in different countries and locations, and served as producer of the thriller Shrews, selected for the Toronto and Sitges film festivals. In 2015 he produced,  with his own production company Pokeepsie Films, Zoe Berriatúa’s debut feature, The Heroes of Evil, and directed the feature film My Big Night. In 2016 he made The Bar and in 2017 he completed  Perfect Strangers. In 2018 he released two films as a producer: Errementari: The Blacksmith and the Devil, Paul Urkijo’s debut feature, and Up Among the Stars, the second feature film by Zoe Berriatúa.

During 2019 he shot his first television series, 30 Coins, for HBO, where he wrote , produced and directed all eight chapters of the first season. He is about to premiere his return to the horror genre, Veneciafrenia, with Caterina Murino, Cosimo Fusco and Silvia Alonso, and the comedy The Fourth Passenger, with Blanca Suárez, Ernesto Alterio and Alberto San Juan.

Mercedes Sampietro

Born in Barcelona, her life has been linked to the acting profession since,  as a very young woman, she  got her career on track through her involvement with  amateur theatre. In 1970 she made her stage debut as a professional actress with Ana Diosdado’s play  Olvida los tambores (Forget the Drums), and in 1977 she played her first screen role in  ‘To an Unknown God’, directed by Jaime Chavarri. Since then, her work in fifty-four films  have elevated her to the category of an excellent acting professional that she enjoys today. Pilar Miró’s  Gary Cooper, Who Art in Heaven, was her first film performance to receive critical acclaim as well as harvesting   awards for Best Female Performance at the Moscow International Film Festival and the Taormina Film Festival, among others. It also marked the beginning of a fruitful  professional relationship between the filmmaker and the  actress which produced  four more titles.

She has worked, among others, with directors Fernando Colomo, Miguel Picazo, Montxo Armendáriz, José Luís Garci, Gracia Querejeta, Gerardo Vera, Patricia Ferreira, Judith Colell, Adolfo Aristarain, Joaquín Oristrell, Manuel Gómez Pereira or Manel Huerga. Her latest works for the big screen was The Furies (2016), by Miguel del Arco, a film that opened the 61st edition of Seminci, and more recently El verano que vivimos (2020), by Carlos Sedes.

On television, the Catalan actress has participated in series La tía de Frankestein (1986), El mundo de Juan Lobón (1988), Juntas pero no revueltas (1995), Nissaga de poder (1997), Porca Miseria (2004-2007), Historias Robadas (2011) or  La Riera (2010-2017).  Her latest works for  television are Fugitiva (2018) for RTVE and Si no t’hagués conegut (2018).

This extensive career has enabled her to win important film and theater awards. Among the first, mention must be made of  the Goya award for Best Actress for Common Ground (2002), by Adolfo Aristarain, a film that also earned her her second Silver Shell for Best Actress at the San Sebastian Festival (she had already received one in 1985 for her performance in Beyond the Walls, again by Pilar Miró). She has also been presented with  the National Film Award in 2003 and the Honorary Award from the Catalan Film Academy in 2017.

Mercedes Sampietro, who was president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from November 2003 to December 2006, directed the short film Turismo in 2009, for which she won the Gaudí Award for Best Short Film, her only foray behind  the camera so far.

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