The Distinguished Citizen

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The Distinguished Citizen
Film poster
El ciudadano ilustre
Directed byGastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn
Written byAndrés Duprat
StarringOscar Martínez
CinematographyGastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn
Music byToni M. Mir
  • Aleph Media
  • Televisión Abierta
  • Magma Cine
  • A Contracorriente Films
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 4 September 2016 (2016-09-04) (Venice)
  • 8 September 2016 (2016-09-08) (Argentine)
Running time
118 minutes[1]
Budget$1.7 million[2]
Box office$3.6 million[3]

The Distinguished Citizen (Spanish: El ciudadano ilustre) is a 2016 Argentine-Spanish comedy-drama[4] film directed by Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn.[5] It was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival.[6] At Venice Oscar Martínez won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.[7] It was selected as the Argentine entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards but it was not nominated.[4] It won Best Ibero-American Film at the 4th Platino Awards.


A recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature, who has been living in Europe for decades, accepts an invitation from his hometown in Argentina to receive a prize. In his country, the protagonist finds both similarities and irreconcilable differences with the people of his hometown.



The Distinguished Citizen took five years to produce[8] and had a budget of $1.7M US.[9] Screenwriter Andres Duprat proposed the story based on his experiences as an art curator jurying work in small towns. Martinez was an early consideration for the lead and collaborated on the script. He called the fictional town of Salas an uncomfortable mirror of Argentina, and Montovani's exile in Spain reminiscent of Jorge Luis Borges's time spent in Europe.[10]

Shooting took place over eight weeks,[8] primarily in Navarro, known in the film as Salas. The directors chose the pueblo after considering 58 municipalities, citing the town's historic center, scarce traffic, lagoon, club, town square, and small television channel. Other locations included Lobos for the flat tire scene, the El Trébol club in Villa Urquiza for the author's lectures, and the Teatro Opera in Buenos Aires for the Nobel awards sequence.[11]

A book of the same title purportedly written by the film character Mantovani describing his visit to his hometown was published in Argentina ahead of the film. The directors described the actual but anonymous author as a "heavyweight of the literary world".[8]


Critical reception[edit]

On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 100%, based on 13 reviews, and an average rating of 7.2/10.[12]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipients and nominees Result
Venice Film Festival 10 September 2016 Volpi Cup for Best Actor Oscar Martínez Won
Golden Lion Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Nominated
Haifa International Film Festival[13] October 2016 Best Film in International Competition Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Won
Havana Film Festival[14] 18 December 2016 Best Screenplay Andrés Duprat Won
Forqué Awards[15] 14 January 2017 Best Actor Oscar Martínez Nominated
Best Latin-American Film Won
Goya Awards 4 February 2017 Best Ibero-American Film Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Won
Ariel Awards[16] 11 July 2017 Best Ibero-American Film Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Won
Platino Awards 22 July 2017 Best Ibero-American Film Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Won
Best Director Gastón Duprat & Mariano Cohn Nominated
Best Actor Oscar Martínez Won
Best Screenplay Andrés Duprat Won

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Venezia 73". Venice Film Festival. Venice Biennale. Archived from the original on 1 November 2016. Retrieved 11 August 2016.
  2. ^ Newbery, Charles (8 May 2011). "Cohn, Duprat prep 'Ciudadano ilustre'". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  3. ^ "El ciudadano ilustre". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  4. ^ a b Hopewell, John (30 September 2016). "Argentina Chooses 'The Distinguished Citizen' As Its Foreign-Language Oscar Entry". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 30 September 2016.
  5. ^ "The Distinguished Citizen". Latido Films. 28 July 2016. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  6. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (28 July 2016). "Venice Film Festival: Lido To Launch Pics From Ford, Gibson, Malick & More As Awards Season Starts To Buzz – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 28 July 2016.
  7. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (11 September 2016). "Venice Film Festival: Golden Lion To 'The Woman Who Left'; Tom Ford's 'Nocturnal Animals', Emma Stone Take Major Prizes – Full List". Deadline Hollywood. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Cabeza, Elisabet (10 October 2016). "Argentinian co-directors talk Venice winner 'The Distinguished Citizen'". Screen. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  9. ^ Newbery, Charles (9 May 2011). "Cohn, Duprat prep 'Ciudadano ilustre'". Variety. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  10. ^ "Oscar Martínez: "El ciudadano ilustre es el espejo que nos devuelve la imagen que no queremos ver"". Hoy. 12 March 2017. Archived from the original on 13 March 2017. Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  11. ^ Calvo, Pablo (30 October 2016). "El pueblo que no tiene cine pero sí extras que sueñan con el Oscar". (in Spanish). Retrieved 17 December 2020.
  12. ^ "The Distinguished Citizen (El ciudadano ilustre) (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 23 December 2020.
  13. ^ "The award winners - Haifa International Film Festival 2016". Haifa International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 21 July 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2016.
  14. ^ "Premios Coral 38 Festival". Havana Film Festival. Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  15. ^ Caz, Ángela del (15 January 2017). "Lista de ganadores de los Premios Forqué 2017: Raúl Arévalo triunfa en su debut como director". Bekia.
  16. ^ ""El ciudadano ilustre" ganó el Ariel a la mejor película iberoamericana". Clarín. 12 July 2017. Retrieved 28 April 2021.

External links[edit]