Carlos Saura Atarés (born 4 January 1932) is a Spanish film director, photographer, and writer. Along with Luis Buñuel and Pedro Almodóvar, he is counted among Spain’s three most renowned filmmakers. He has a long and prolific career that spans over half a century. Several of his films have won many international awards.
Saura began his career in 1955 making documentary shorts. He quickly gained international prominence when his first feature-length film premiered at Cannes Film Festival in 1960. Although he started filming as a neorealist, Saura quickly switched to films encoded with metaphors and symbolism in order to get around the Spanish censors. In 1966, he was thrust into the international spotlight when his film La Caza won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival. In the following years, he forged an international reputation for his cinematic treatment of emotional and spiritual responses to repressive political conditions.
By the 1970s, Saura was the best-known filmmaker working in Spain. His films employed complex narrative devices and were frequently controversial. He won Special Jury Awards for La Prima Angélica (1973) and Cría Cuervos (1975) in Cannes; and an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film nomination in 1979 for Mama Cumple 100 Años.
In the 1980s, Saura was in the spotlight for his Flamenco trilogy – Bodas de Sangre, Carmen, and El Amor Brujo, in which he combined dramatic content and flamenco dance forms. His work continued to be featured in worldwide competitions and earned numerous awards. He received two nominations for Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film, for Carmen (1983) and Tango (1998). His films are sophisticated expression of time and space fusing reality with fantasy, past with present, and memory with hallucination. In the last two decades of the 20th century, Saura has concentrated on works uniting music, dance, and images.