Pedro Almodovar to Receive WGA Screenwriting Achievement Award

Posted on January 21, 2015

Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almodovar will be honored with the Writers Guild of America West's Jean Renoir Award for Screenwriting Achievement. The award is given to an international writer who has advanced the language of films and how has made outstanding contributions to screenwriting.

The prolific screenwriter and director will receive the award at the 2015 Writer's Guild Awards in Los Angeles on Valentine's Day -- February 14, 2015 -- which seems like an odd day for the WGA Awards if you ask us.

WGAW Vice President Howard A. Rodman's waxed rhapsodic on the subject of Almodovar in a statement, saying, "Almodovar -- the first name is almost unnecessary -- is a genius, is a flower, is a guiding light: the last, best son of Buñuel and so much more than that. His screenplays, which he directs with passion and fine care, have taught us about the exteriors of his native land and the interiors of our own hearts."

Almodovar was born in Calzada de Calatrava, Spain to a very poor family. As a young man he discovered the cinema, but could not afford to go to film school.. He eventually saved up enough money to buy a Super 8 camera. He began making short films, eventually graduating to feature films.

The arts began to flourish in Spain after the death of Franco and Almodovar's films began to get noticed. He and his brother founded their own independent film studio, El Desea, which produces all of his films. Almodovar's first American releases were Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown and Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!. The breakout films established him as a filmmaker to watch. Since then he has written and directed such films as Volver, The Skin I Live In and Broken Embraces. his next film is Silencio, which stars his long time muse, Penelope Cruz. Antonio Banderas got his first break in an Almodovar film and is a frequent collaborator.

His films usually feature strong female characters. His films often explore themes of feminism, family, sexuality and gender. He is known for his use of humor and pop culture references. Almodovar is the recipient of many awards and honors, including the French Legion of Honor, the Gold Medal of Merit in the Fine Arts by the Spanish Ministry of Culture, an Honorary Cesar, an honorary doctoral degree from Harvard university and the Palm Springs International Film Festival's Career Achievement Award. He is an honorary member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

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