Manuel Martin Cuenca
I make films because I like to learn, because I like to feel like a student who doesn’t know anything, whose sense of wonder is intact.
Manuel Martín Cuenca was born in Almería on 30 November 1964. He studied Spanish Philology at the Universidad de Granada and graduated with a degree in Information Sciences from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (1989).
In 1988 he began his professional work in film as an assistant director, script supervisor, and casting director, working with directors including Felipe Vega, Alain Tanner, Mariano Barroso, José Luis Cuerda, Iciar Bollaín, and José Luis Borau. In 1999 he started to write and direct his own documentary and fiction films. During that period, he also taught Directing and Acting at several film schools in Spain and Cuba. He was a contributor to various newspapers and publications, and wrote a novel and several books about film.
In 2001 he wrote and directed a documentary feature-length film, THE CUBAN GAME (EL JUEGO DE CUBA, 2001), winner of numerous international awards, including First Prize at the Málaga Film Festival, Lacinemafe in New York, the Official Section in Amsterdam, and a nomination for the Best Foreign Documentary at the BBC Grierson Awards. It was shown on television in over twenty countries worldwide.
In 2003 he took part in the San Sebastián Film Festival in the Zabaltegui Section with his first fiction film as director and co-screenplay writer, THE WEAKNESS OF BOLSHEVIK (LA FLAQUEZA DEL BOLCHEVIQUE, 2003), earning great critical acclaim and five award nominations from the Círculo de Escritores Cinematográficos (Film Critics’ Circle) as well as nominations for the Goya Award for Best Screenplay, Adaptation; and for the Goya Award for Best New Actress, won by María Valverde.
Two years later, in 2005, his second fiction film as director and co-screenplay writer, HARD TIMES (MALAS TEMPORADAS), premiered in the Official Section at the San Sebastián Film Festival. This film also garnered excellent reviews and numerous international awards, including a nomination for the Goya Award for Best Actress, Natalie Poza.
In 2009 his new documentary feature-length film as director and co-screenplay writer, LAST WITNESSES: CARRILLO, COMMUNIST (ÚLTIMOS TESTIGOS: CARRILLO, COMUNISTA), premiered at the Málaga Film Festival. It was nominated for the Goya Award for Best Documentary and won the Cartelera Turia Award for Best Documentary of the Year.
He founded La Loma Blanca P.C. The company collaborated in several of his films as a producer. The company produced HALF OF OSCAR (LA MITAD DE ÓSCAR) and CANIBAL, his most recent films as director and co-screenplay writer.
- Caníbal - 2013
- Half of Oscar (La Mitad de Óscar) - 2010
- Last Witnesses: Carrillo Communist (Últimos testigos: Carrillo comunista) - 2009
- Hard Times (Malas temporadas) - 2005
- La flaqueza del bolchevique - 2003
- El juego de Cuba - 2001