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He first worked, for a short period of time, as a designer and art director in films and theatre plays. He then began to paint, working with the basic techniques and incorporating video in his work. When people saw his videos, they told Pavel he was a "gifted storyteller" and encouraged him to try his hand at cinema. Giroud had to do everything – from image to sound and music – when he directed his first short films. He even featured his friends in his movies, rather than professional actors.
"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.
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. When film critics saw the movie, they dubbed Pavel the "new Cuban Truffaut" and "the finest director of his generation".
One year later he directed a noir film titled Omerta and began to write his most ambitious project, The Companion. He spent more than six years developing it and finding financial support to make it. This film was selected as the Cuban entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. While he developed this film, he co-directed Playing Lecuona, a musical documentary film about the greatest legend of Cuban music, Ernesto Lecuona, starring the jazz pianists Michel Camilo, Chucho Valdés and Gonzalo Rubalcaba.
From 2012, he has collaborated with the fine arts group Los Carpinteros, directing all of their video pieces.
Pavel is third cousin of the famous Cuban writer Dulce María Loynaz.
- Tres Veces Dos - (Flash: One of three sections of the film) - feature film
- Frank Emilio, Amor y Piano - EPK
- Esther Borja: Rapsodia de Cuba - documentary
- La Edad de la peseta (The Silly Age) - feature film
- Manteca, Mondongo y Bacalao con pan - TV documentary
- Omertá - feature film.
- Conga Irreversible - video piece in collaboration with Los Carpinteros.
- Pellejo - video piece in collaboration with Los Carpinteros.
- Polaris - video piece in collaboration with Los Carpinteros.
- Playing Lecuona - documentary film.
- El Acompañante (The Companion) - feature film.
- Tres Veces Dos
- Selected by critics as one of the 10 most significant films in Cuba in 2004
- Montreal 2004: Zenith de Plata as best first film.
- Golden Precolumbian Circle: nominated for best film
- III Muestra de Nuevos Realizadores: best work of fiction, Asoc. Críticos Cinematográficos Prize, EICTV Prize
- ICARO 2004, Guatemala: best foreign film
- Unión Nacional de Escritores y Artistas de Cuba (UNEAC) caracol Prize: best art direction, music, editing, photography
- XXVI Festival Int. del Nuevo Cine Latinoamericano: Federación Nac. de Cineclubs Prize, UPEC Prize
- La Edad de la peseta (The Silly Age)
- Nominated. Spanish Academy Goya Award.
- World Premiere. Toronto International Film Festival:
- Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Foreign Press Glauber Rocha Award, UNEAC Award, Latin New Cinema Found Prize. Havana International Film Festival:
- Chris Holter Audience Prize. San Francisco International Film Festival
- Best Hispanoamerican film. Santa Barbara International Film Festival
- Best film. India Catalina Award. Cartagena Film Festival
- Best Director, Original Score, Art Direction. Cine Ceará, Brasil
- Best Film. Cinesul, Rio de Janeiro.
- 2nd Audience Award. Festival de Lima
- Special Jury Prize / Best Actress (Mercedes Sampietro). Muestra de Cine de Santo Domingo.
- Best Script / Best Actor (Iván Carreira). Mérida 2007:
- Audience Award. Cero Latitud, Ecuador:
- Best Film, Direction, Cinematography, Editing, Original Score, Costume Design, Make-up and Hairdressing. Artist & Witers Cuban Union Award:
- Cuba Entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Oscars 2007
- Official selection. Mar del Plata 2007, Washington 2007, Munich 2007:
- Selected by critics as the Best Cuban Film of 2006.
- Best Screenplay. Havana International Film Festival:
- Vigía Award. Havana International Film Festival:
- World Premiere. San Sebastian International Film Festival
- Playing Lecuona
- Best Documentary Film. Montreal Film Festival
- Merit Award. New York International Film Festival.
- Best Documentary Film. Cubadisco Award.
- El Acompañante (The Companion)
- Audience Award. Miami International Film Festival.
- Audience Award. Toulouse
- ACC Award. Toulouse
- Audience Award. Málaga Spanish Film Festival
- Best Screenplay. HFF New York
- Second Audience Award. Havana International Film Festival:
- Best Screenplay / Best Actor / Best Actress. New York Latin ACE Awards
- Best Screenplay. SGAE Julio Alejandro Award.
- Best Project. San Sebastian International Film Festival. Co-Production Forum.
- Main Caracol Award and Best Film, Direction, Cinematography, Production, Screenplay. Artist & Witers Cuban Union Award:
- World Premiere. Busan International Film Festival.
- U.S. Premiere. Chicago International Film Festival.
- Cuba Entry for Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, Oscars 2017
- Selected by critics as one of the 10 most significant worldwide films released in Cuba in 2016.
- Nominated. Forqué Awards. EGEDA.
- Feinstein, Howard. "Havana Fest Creates Plentiful Program Despite Low Cash". www.indiewire.com. Retrieved 8 January 2017.
- John DeFore, "'Playing Lecuona': Montreal Review", The Hollywood Reporter, 6 September 2015