Profile - Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo

Name Jorge Sanchez-Cabezudo

Born 1972, Madrid, Spain

Background Having stayed put in Spain’s first city of cinema, Sanchez-Cabezudo found an apprenticeship in filmmaking through television. He has for some years been writing a popular teen soap, which he continues to pen to pay the bills. In 1996, Sanchez-Cabezudo was nominated for a Goya (Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars) for his short film La Gotera, a macabre chiller about a dead body falling through the ceiling of a man’s apartment. His debut feature The Night of the Sunflowers is another dead body crime story, set in a rural community in the countryside west of Madrid and boasting a complex narrative structure that passes the story baton-like from one member of the ensemble cast to the next.

What’s he up to now? This talented thirtysomething Spaniard is currently basking in the praise being lavished on The Night of the Sunflowers, which was nominated for three Goyas last year, losing with no shame or dishonour to fellow-Madrid filmmaker Pedro Almodovar’s Volver. On the back of the reception of his debut, Sanchez-Cabezudo is attempting to get one or more of the handful of scripts he has written off the ground as his next film.

What he says about film’s rural setting ‘I made the film in the countryside because I wanted a different setting from cities, where this type of crime story is usually set. I also wanted to highlight the rural decline that is affecting many communities in Spain. This way of life is vanishing and this is a problem, but in the EU the countryside is not a priority. With my film I’m not trying to judge the situation. Instead I’m raising the question about the countryside in an effort to provoke some debate among the public.’

Interesting fact Sanchez-Cabezudo’s love of film was inherited from his cinefile father. He cites American cinema of the 1970s, particularly Sam Peckinpah’s own rural crime tale Straw Dogs, among his influences.

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