Why This Oscar Nominee Calls Pedro Almodovar His Professional "Godfather"

Pedro Almodovar and Damian Szifron

'Wild Tales' director Damian Szifron and his producer pose for THR's Oscars Issue as Almodovar praises his "accessible," "miraculous" film.

This story first appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

"I met him the best way a mentor should meet his pupil, as a spectator of one of his films — On Probation, which I liked a lot. It surprised me," says Spanish director Pedro Almodovar of Argentine auteur Damian Szifron. "He is a very good director, but he has something very special that adds value for a producer: He is accessible as a director."

This story first appeared in the Feb. 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

"I met him the best way a mentor should meet his pupil, as a spectator of one of his films — On Probation, which I liked a lot. It surprised me," says Spanish director Pedro Almodovar of Argentine auteur Damian Szifron. "He is a very good director, but he has something very special that adds value for a producer: He is accessible as a director."

Value, indeed. Szifron's best foreign-language film Oscar nominee, Wild Tales, which was co-produced by El Deseo, the company Almodovar runs with his brother Agustin, became Argentina's highest-grossing movie ever. Joining forces with Almodovar was "a great moment in my life," says Szifron, 39, adding that the acclaimed director's name opened doors all over the world.

See more Oscars: The Noms' Secret Weapons (Photos)

Almodovar, 65, who won a best screenplay Oscar for 2002's Talk to Her, notes that Szifron faces a tough field: "This year, the non-English-language-speaking filmmaking is qualitatively superior, and there are very important contenders." But Szifron's professional "god­father" has faith in Wild Tales — an anthology of six shocking, funny and perversely satisfying tales of revenge — calling it a "miraculous film."

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