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José Luis Cuerda

  • José Luis Cuerda © Kike Para / EL MUNDO

    José Luis Cuerda © Kike Para / EL MUNDO






Date of birth

Feb 18, 1947

Date of death

Feb 4, 2020

"Film director, screenwriter and producer. The discoverer of Alejandro Amenábar, whose film 'Thesis' he produced in 1996."

He was born in Albacete in 1947. He began studying law but abandoned this career path to devote himself to the world of film. In 1969 he started working in the Spanish public television network Televisión Española, where he made reports and documentaries, and directed the programme 'Cultura 2'. In 1982 he directed his first feature film, 'Pares y nones', an example of what is known as 'comedy from Madrid'. In 1987 he released 'The living forest', where he developed absurd humour, one of the perennial hallmarks of his work during those years. 'Amanece que no es poco', another box-office hit, is also an example of this type of humour. He directed the films 'Lengua de las mariposas' and 'Los girasoles ciegos', both of which take a long hard look at the Spanish Civil War. As a producer, he has won two Goya awards for 'Thesis' and 'The others', both directed by Alejandro Amenábar. He died in Madrid in 2020.


Goya Best Film Award (1987)
Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts (2002)

Essential works

  • El bosque animado © EFE

    El bosque animado (direction)

    Based on the novel by the Galician writer, Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, this portrayal of customs and manners mixes humour, reality and legend to create a fantastic universe of characters.

    More info
  • Amanece, que no es poco. Photo courtesy of the Spanish Film Archive

    Amanece, que no es poco (direction, script)

    A clear expression of Spanish surrealism in film. Satirical, every scene is filled with jokes and comic situations.

    More info

Other highlighted works

  • La lengua de las mariposas
  • La marrana
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