Alejandro Amenabar

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Alejandro Amenabar
Alejandro Amenábar
Amenábar in 2015
Birthday/Birthplace Alejandro Fernando Amenábar Cantos
(1972-03-31) March 31, 1972
Santiago, Chile
Citizenship Chilean-Spanish
Profession(s) Film director,
screen play writer and composer
Wife/Husband David Blanco (m. 2015)

Alejandro Fernando Amenábar Cantos (Santiago de Chile, March 31, 1972) is a Chilean-Spanish film director, scriptwriter and composer, winner of nine Goya and Oscar awards, Amenábar has He wrote the scripts of his six films and composed almost all the soundtracks of those films.

Alejandro_Amenabar’s Biography

Childhood and youth

He was born in Santiago de Chile – he currently maintains the dual Spanish and Chilean nationality – his mother is Josefina Cantos, a Spanish born in Madrid, who had traveled to Chile where an older sister lived. There he contracted marriage with his father, Hugo Ricardo Amenábar, of Chilean nationality and worker of the company General Electric. The couple had two children, both born in Chile: Ricardo (1969) and Alejandro (1972). A year after the birth of Alejandro, before Chile’s tense political environment (culminated in the 1973 coup d’état in Chile), the family decided to move to Spain. In August 1973, they settled in Madrid, where his father started working for the OSRAM company, and when they arrived, they temporarily settled in a caravan in a camping site, but fixed their definitive residence in a quiet urbanization on the outskirts of the town. of Paracuellos de Jarama.


He began his studies at the school of the Escolapios de Getafe. In second year of high school he transferred his studies to the Alameda de Osuna Institute, in the northeast area of ​​Madrid.

His parents always put a special zeal in the education of their children, both in the choice of the center where they studied and in their free time. Neither Alejandro nor his brother were big consumers of television; They also did not see cinema on the big screen, which Alejando started attending when he was fifteen years old. His hobby was writing stories and reading juvenile stories. According to his mother, Alejandro had the ability to absorb everything he read.

Before entering the faculty, he worked as a stockman in a warehouse and as a gardener, until he was able to buy a home video camera. He did not conceive to begin his university studies of image without having touched a camera before.

In 1990, after completing his studies at the institute with good results, he entered the Faculty of Information Sciences at the Complutense University of Madrid, where he did not finish his studies, because he considered them to be too theoretical and excessive studies. very detached from professional reality.

A positive aspect of his time at the university was the encounter with people close to the film world, such as Mateo Gil, a friend and colleague with whom he collaborated in several of his projects later.

Cinematographic career

Between 1991 and 1995 he made four short films that, in a very significant way, subsequently influenced his first films: the short films La cabeza, Himenóptero and Luna have their older brothers in Tesis, Mar adentro and Abre los ojos.

From his facet as a composer we can say that since he was a child he composed melodies with the keyboard and the guitar with the same fluency as when writing stories. He learned music in a self-taught way to be able to musicalize his short films. In 1993 he worked closely with Guillermo Fernández Groizard and made the music and premixtures of Al Atlas, a short film by students from Metropolis c.e. In fact, it seems that he gave away his first composition for the main theme of Thesis to the aforementioned short film.

However, everything changed when he met José Luis Cuerda. A compañero de Cuerda handed him the short film of Himenóptero so that he could give his opinion. From then on, Cuerda became interested in the script of the future film Thesis (1996) and became its producer and the next two. Thesis is a thriller set in the Faculty of Information Sciences of the Complutense University of Madrid. He managed to get the attention of critics at the Berlin Film Festival and won seven Goyas, including best film and best new director. In 1997 he made Abre los ojos, a science fiction and psychological intrigue film that was made with notable success in international festivals such as Berlin or Tokyo. Impressed by the film, Tom Cruise acquired the adaptation rights and produced and starred in the Vanilla Sky adaptation (2001).

His third film was Los otros (2001), starring Nicole Kidman. He achieved a great success of critics and audiences internationally, especially in Spain, where he was the most watched movie of the year, and also in the United States, where he stayed for several weeks among the most viewed. It premiered in the official section of the Venice Film Festival in 2001, won eight Goya awards -including the best film and best director- and was a candidate for the European Film Academy Award for the best film. In 2004 he presented Mar adentro, a real life story of the quadriplegic Ramón Sampedro (played by Javier Bardem), where he tackled topics such as euthanasia, abortion or “the right to a decent life”. The film won 14 Goyas, including the best film and best director, and the Oscar for best non-English film in 2004. In 2008 he prepared his next film, initially titled Mists of Time and finally called Agora. The film starred stars, among others, Rachel Weisz and Max Minghella and premiered on October 9, 2009. With a budget of 50 million euros is the most expensive Spanish film in history.

He is also the composer of the soundtrack of his films, as well as others such as La lengua de las mariposas directed by José Luis Cuerda and Nadie conoce a nadie directed by Mateo Gil.

In 2015 he premiered his sixth film as a director, Regresión, starring Emma Watson and Ethan Hawke.

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