- Zambrano, Benito
- (1965- )With only two features to his name, Benito Zambrano is one of the most promising new filmmakers in Spanish cinema today. He studied theater arts in Seville and trained as director by making a series of shorts since 1987. Titles include La última humillación (The Last Humiliation, 1987) and Melli, Un niño mal nacido (Melli, a Bad Birth, 1989). In the early 1990s, he moved to Cuba, where he completed a degree in film scripting and direction at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y Televisión de San Antonio de Baños. As an exercise, he wrote the script for a documentary Los que se quedaron (The Ones Who Stayed, 1993), which he then shot in video. El encanto de la luna llena (The Charm of the Full Moon, 1995) was his first substantial fiction short and won seven international awards. His feature film debut Solas (Alone, 1999) was acclaimed by critics, and the director was awarded a Goya for best new director. Zambrano told a simple story of a mother-daughter relationship, taking inspiration from the lives of Andalusian village women, including his own mother.After the film's success, he undertook a television miniseries, Padre Coraje (Father Courage), starring Juan Diego, which aired in 2001 to great success. His next film, Habana Blues (2005) was a radical change of register, telling the story of two struggling Cuban musicians who must choose between a contract to work abroad for a multinational company that will force them to betray their convictions or staying in a country where they have to face hardship and lack of money to set up a band or organize concerts. It was a deeply involving and emotional story with a political soul.
Historical dictionary of Spanish cinema. Alberto Mira. 2010.