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He first worked as a designer, but for a very short period of time. He then began to paint, working with the basic plastic arts and incorporating video in his work. Gradually he managed to accompany his paintings with video installations, emphasizing on irony. Fake TV spots, fake narrative films... Then irony got the upper hand. The advertising business was beginning to take off in Cuba and someone from an ad agency approached Giroud about making a film for a Cigar brand. He accepted, and discovered he liked advertising. When People saw his videos, they told Pavel he was a “gifted storyteller” and encouraged him to try his hand at cinema. With the money from his ad work he started making short films.
Pavel Giroud had to do everything – from image to sound – when he directed his first short film. He even featured his friends in his movies, rather than professional actors.
The only film poster he has allowed in his apartment is the one for Todo por Ella, which he made with five friends in 2002. "That film really opened doors for me," he recalls gratefully. Most importantly it led to the excellent 3x2, which won the prize for best first film at the 2004 Montreal Film Festival. "3x2" was a joint effort among three young directors, Giroud along with Lester Hamlet and Esteban Insausti. Each had 30 minutes to portray a love affair. The film opens with Giroud's "Flash", set in modern-day Havana, where a photographer becomes infatuated with a 1950s fashion model. “It wasn’t a massive hit but it made us feel good and made us feel like we were making a real picture”. From there on, Pavel decided to focus his career on cinema.
Pavel Giroud only filmed what he wrote, until he read the script of the movie La edad de la peseta, written by Arturo Infante, a young screenwriter and director. “When I first read the script, I didn’t see in this movie the possibility to express myself as a director”. However, he gradually and simply fell in love with the script and the movie, “Now, I tell Arturo that it’s my film not his, and that he should forget he wrote it…” He finished "La Edad de la Peseta", in 2006. It's the story of a ten-year-old boy ("the silly age" of the title) who enters puberty just as his country's Revolution is getting under way. When film critics saw the movie, they named Pavel, the “new Cuban Truffaut”.
His second film alone, “Omerta”, won the Coral Award for Best Unpublished Screenplay in the XXVII International Havana Film Festival; and was released the following year at the San Sebastian Film Festival. It's the story of a man who works as a bodyguard for one of Havana's big mobsters in the 1940s and becomes obsolete after the Revolution. "It's a story about ageing, and the art of ageing," Giroud says. And for some reason this makes him smile.
In 2013, Pavel began his collaboration with the fine art group Los Carpinteros, directing their videos “Polaris,” "Conga Irreversible," and "Pellejo" (Sean Kelly Gallery, New York & Ivorypress, Madrid).
He recently collaborated as co-director in the documentary film “Playing Lecuona”, starring jazz pianists Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdes, and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, along with Ana Belen, Raymundo Amador, Omara Portuondo, and others renowned musicians. The film will have its official release at the MWFF (Montreal), after a special screening at the Miami´s Fest.
Next October, his third feature film, “El Acompañante,” will have its world premiere in Busán International Film Festival (Korea). The film has already being recognized as Best Project in 61th San Sebastian Production Forum.
LA EDAD DE LA PESETA (The silly age)
Seleccionada por la Crítica Cinematográfica Nacional como la mejor película Cubana del año.
Premios Goya de la Academia de Cine Español: Nominada como Mejor Película Hispanoamericana del Año
Toronto 2006: Sección Discovery
La Habana 2006: Premios Coral de Fotografía y Dirección de Arte. Premio Glauber Rocha de la Prensa Extranjera. Premio UNEAC. Premio de la Fundación de Cine Latinoamericano.
San Francisco, USA 2007: Premio Chris Holter de la Audiencia
Santa Barbara, USA, 2007: Mejor Película Hispanoamericana
Cartagena 2007: Mejor Película
Cine Ceará, Brasil 2007: Mejor Director. Mejor Música Original. Mejor Dirección de Arte.
Cinesul, Rio de Janeiro 2007: Mejor Película
Lima 2007: 2do Premio del Público
Santo Domingo 2007: Mejor Actriz (Mercedes Sampietro). Premio Especial del Jurado
Mérida 2007: Mejor Guión. Mejor Actor (Iván Carreira)
Cero Latitud, Ecuador, 2007: Premio del Público
Mar del Plata 2007 – Washington 2007 – Munich 2007: Sección Oficial
Premio Caracol de la Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC): Mejor Película / Dirección / Fotografía / Edición / Música Original / Vestuario / Maquillaje y Peluquería
OMERTÁ (Guión Cinematográfico)
XXVII Festival Internacional del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano de La Habana, 2005: Premio Coral a Mejor Guión Inédito.
TRES VECES DOS
Seleccionado por la crítica como uno de los 10 filmes más significativos estrenados en Cuba en el 2004
Montreal 2004: Zenith de Plata a Mejor Opera Prima.
Golden Precolumbian Circle: Nominada a Mejor Película
III Muestra de Nuevos Realizadores: Mejor Obra de Ficción / Premio Asoc. Críticos Cinematográficos / Premio EICTV
ICARO 2004 . Guatemala: Mejor Película Extranjera.
Premio Caracol (UNEAC) : Mejor Dirección de Arte / Música / Edición / Fotografía
XXVI Festival Int. del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano: Premio de Federación Nac. de Cineclubs, Premio UPEC
- Omertá. Largometraje de Ficción. ICAIC - Abraprod
- Manteca, Mondongo y Bacalao con pan (Una mirada al Jazz Cubano). Largometraje Documental
- La Edad de la peseta. ICAIC / MEDIAPRO / ALTER . Largometraje de Ficción
- Car Havana. . Documental
- Frank Emilio, Amor y Piano. Mediometraje Documental. BIS Music
- Esther Borja: Rapsodia de Cuba. Largometraje Documental. Fundación Autor
- Tres Veces Dos. Ficción – Flash. Primera Historia de las tres que componen el Film.
- Silk Screen. Corto Documental. ICAIC – Guagua & Co. Films
- La casa por la ventana. Documental. Centro Cultural de España en Cuba.
- Todo por ella. Cortometraje de Ficción. Guagua & Co. Films.
- Pavel Giroud at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview of pavel Giroud on Havana-Cultura