The filmmaker José Luis Borau passed away on Friday November 23rd at the age of 83. An enormously important figure in the history of Spanish film, Borau (Zaragoza, 1929) took his first steps at the helm with a number of shorts, until making his feature directorial debut with the western Brandy (1963) and the thriller Crimen de doble filo (Double Edged Crime, 1964). These were followed by very personal films that would define his style and his incorruptible conception of cinema: Hay que matar a B. (1975), Furtivos (1975), La Sabina (1979), Río abajo (On the Line, 1984), Tata mía (1986), Niño nadie (1996) and Leo (2000), his last major work for the big screen. He also made numerous documentaries and fictional pieces for television, in addition to the series Celia (1993). As a producer, he backed remarkable Spanish films like Iván Zulueta’s Un, dos, tres, al escondite inglés (Hide and Seek,1969), Jaime de Armiñán’s Mi querida señorita (My Dearest Señorita, 1972) and Camada negra (Black Litter, 1977) by Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón. Also an author of several books, Borau won the Premio Nacional de Cinematografía, and held the titles of Académico de Bellas Artes and member of the Real Academia Española de la Lengua.
José Luis Borau had a special connection with the San Sebastian Festival: Furtivos carried off the Golden Shell at the 23rd edition of the event, thanks to which the film was able to enjoy commercial release after its problems with censorship under Franco. In 1990 he returned to the Festival as a member of the Official Jury at the 38th edition. Borau, who was also Chair of the Academia de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas and of the Sociedad General de Autores y Editores (SGAE), always demonstrated his support of the San Sebastian Festival, whether in his actions as holder of these important positions or at personal level.

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