Born in San Sebastián in 1958, his love for cinema was awakened by a Super8 camera with which his father, a virtuous amateur filmmaker, used to film scenes of his family life. An athlete in his teens, at 18 he moved to Soria determined to study Psychiatry in order to be able to delve into the dark corners of the human mind. Finally he graduated in Medicine and Surgery from the University of the Basque Country.
While shooting his first shorts in a self-taught way, he worked as a film critic for ‘La Voz de Euskadi’, before shaping his first feature film script, ‘Cows’, which earned him the Goya Award for Best New Director, dazzled both critics and audiences in the Panorama section of the Berlin Festival and was awarded at the Tokyo, Montreal or Turin festivals, inaugurating one of the most personal film universes in European cinema.
His second film, ‘The Red Squirrel’, was awarded at Cannes and aroused the interest of film masters like Stanley Kubrick or Steven Spielberg, but Medem gave up a career in Hollywood to continue exploring his obsessions with ‘Earth’ (1996), one of his most personal works, which competed in the Official Selection of Cannes.
In 1997 he created Alicia Produce, his own film production company, with which he has spawned titles like ‘Me Too ‘, by Antonio Naharro and Álvaro Pastor, and in 1998 he enjoyed the box-office success of ‘Lovers of the Arctic Circle’, before achieving full fruition at home and abroad with his film ‘Sex and Lucía’.
In 2003, he premiered his documentary ‘The Basque Ball: Skin against stone ‘, and in 2007 he returned to fiction with ‘Chaotic Ana’, which was followed in 2009 by ‘Room in Rome ‘, based on Valladolid’s Golden Spike winning film ‘In Bed ‘, by Chilean director Matías Bize.
In 2012 he presented his first literary work, ‘Aspasia, amante de Atenas’, and in 2014 he produced together with Penelope Cruz ‘Ma ma’, which premiered internationally at the Toronto Film Festival. Her tenth and last feature film so far is ‘The Tree of Blood’, a story of love and heartbreak over time.