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José Luis Alcaine

  • José Luis Alcaine © EFE

    José Luis Alcaine © EFE






Date of birth

Dec 26, 1938

"Director of photography. One of Spain's most outstanding directors of photography. He was the first to use neon as the main source of light in the 1970s."

Born in Tetuan (Morocco) in 1938, he began his career in a darkroom in his hometown. In 1962 he entered the Official Cinematography School of Madrid and graduated in 1966. That same year he began to collaborate on short films by young directors finishing their studies. He has worked with some of the most important directors in Spanish cinema, including Vicente Aranda, Víctor Erice, Carlos Saura, Pilar Miró, Fernando Trueba and Pedro Almodóvar. His lighting is distinguished by its delicacy, but also by its strong contrasts; it is highly expressive and creates a sensation of volume. In 2009 he made the television series 'Doctor Mateo'.


National Film Award (1989)
Goya Award for Best Photography (1989, 1992, 1993, 2002, 2007)
European Academy Award for Best Cinematography (2006)
Gold Medal of the Spanish Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences (2011)
Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (2017)

Essential works

  • Lovers © EFE

    Lovers (photography)

    Based on a real crime that took place in the 1940s, this is a film of intrigue, passions and strong erotic content.

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  • ¡Ay, Carmela! © EFE

    ¡Ay, Carmela! (photography)

    A bitter sweet comedy set in the divided sides of Spain facing each other in the Civil War, winner of 13 Goya awards.

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  • Film - Generic image

    Voyage to Nowhere (photography)

    An affectionate look at the world of itinerant actors, with Francoist Spain as a backdrop.

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  • Half of Heaven © EFE

    Half of Heaven (photography)

    The title originates in a phrase of Confucius, saying that women are half of heaven.

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  • Poster. Volver © EFE

    Volver (photography)

    Almodóvar has once again gained numerous awards and nominations for this mixture of comedy and drama on guilt and loneliness.

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