|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, actor|
Agustí Villaronga Riutort (Catalan pronunciation: [əɣusˈti viʎəˈɾoŋɡə]; born April 1953) is a Balearic Spanish film director, screenwriter and actor. He has directed seven feature films, a documentary, three projects for television and three shorts. His film El niño de la luna was entered into the 1989 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2011, he won the Goya Award for Best Director for Pa negre (Black Bread). The film was selected as the Spanish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy Awards, but it did not make the final shortlist.
Life and career
Agustí Villaronga was born in April 1953 in Palma de Mallorca, his grandparents had been itinerant puppeteers and his father was a child of the Spanish civil war, a fact that would resurface repeatedly in the director's filmography. Since childhood, his father encouraged his love for films and from early in his life he wanted to become a film director. He worked as an actor and made some shorts.
Villaronga made his directorial debut in 1987 with the film Tras el cristal, which was selected by the Berlin film festival receiving critical praised and many awards. The plot follows a former Nazi doctor, now paralyzed and depending on an iron lung to live, who begins to be taken care of by a young man, who was one of the children he abused during the war. Tras el cristal already shows some of the key elements in Villaronga's filmography: a disturbed childhood marked by violence an early discovery of sexuality.
His second film, El niño de la Luna (1989), is about a child who goes to Africa to join a tribe awaiting the arrival of white child God. In 1992 he made a documentary, Al Andaluz, produced by Segetel and the MoMa of New York city. For some years Villaronga tried unsuccessfully to find financing to adapt a novel by Mercè Rodoreda, Muerte en Primavera. Instead he had to take some commission works. One of these was El pasajero clandestino, a made for television project that lacked the personal characteristics of his filmography.
Called by actress Maria Barranco, Villaronga directed 99.99 a horror film more in synch with his themes, and that won some awards in festivals specialized in fantastic cinema. In 2000, Villaronga came back with a project of his own: El mar, a story set in Mallorca about three former childhood friends, traumatized by the violence they experienced during the Spanish civil war, that are reunited ten years later as young adults in a sanitary of tubercular patiences. The key elements in Villarings filmography are present in this story: childhood, sexual awakening, homosexuality and violence.
In 2002, Villaronga co-directed with Lidia Zimmerman the film En la mente del asesino. In 2007 he made Después de la lluvia, a made for television project adapting a stage play. It was only until 2010 with Pa negre, when Villaronga finally achieved wider appeal. This film, winner of nine Goya Award including best film and best director, tells the story of an elven year old boy who growing up in the harsh period of the aftermath of the Spanish civil war in Catalonia's countryside discovers the world of lies around him.
Villaronga is openly gay.
Filmography as director
|Year||English title||Original title||Notes|
|1987||In a Glass Cage||Tras el cristal||Manfred Salzberg Award at the Berlin film festival|
|1989||Moon child||El niño de la luna|
|1992||Al-Andalus: The Art of Islamic Spain||Al-Andalus||Documentary|
|1995||The stowaway||El pasajero clandestino||Made for televition|
|2000||The Sea||El Mar||Based on a novel by Blai Bonet.|
|2002||Aro Tolbukhin in the Mind of a Killer||Aro Tolbukhin. En la mente del asesino||Coo-directed with Isaac Racine and Lidia Zimmerman.|
|2007||After the rain||Després de la pluja||Made for televition|
|2010||Black Bread||Pa Negre||Winner of nine Goya Awards, including best film, best director and best adapted screenplay.|
|2012||A Letter to Evita||Una carta para Evita||T.V series|
- Anta mujer (1976) - Short
- Al mayurka (1980)- Short
- Laberint (1980)- Short
- "Agustí Villaronga". spainisculture. Retrieved 2011-11-18.
- "Festival de Cannes: Moon Child". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-08-01.
- ""PA NEGRE" REPRESENTARÁ A ESPAÑA EN LOS OSCAR". CBC. Retrieved -2011-09-28.
- "9 Foreign Language Films Vie for Oscar". Retrieved 2012-01-19.
- "The Advocate, 11 April 2000, p. 46". The Advocate, 11 April 2000, p. 46. Retrieved 2013-01-20.