Pedro Almodóvar to Receive Venice Film Festival Lifetime Honor

Pedro Almodóvar

Venice Festival director Alberto Barbera calls Almodóvar 'the greatest and most influential Spanish director since (Luis) Buñuel.'

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar will receive a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the 2019 Venice International Film Festival.

Almodóvar's international breakthrough came in Venice in 1988, when his melodrama Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown won the festival's best screenplay honor.

One of Europe's most acclaimed and influential directors, his masterpiece All About My Mother won the Oscar for best foreign-language film in 2000 and took home a best screenplay Oscar for Talk to Her in 2002. The director's latest, Pain and Glory, won best actor for longtime Almodóvar collaborator Antonio Banderas in Cannes last month.

“Almodóvar isn’t only the greatest and most influential Spanish director since (Luis) Buñuel, he is a filmmaker who has offered us the most multifaceted, controversial and provocative portraits of post-Franco Spain,” said Venice festival director Alberto Barbera in a statement, noting that he imbues his topics “of transgression, desire and identity ... with corrosive humor and adorns with a visual splendor.”

Almodóvar noted that the Venice premiere of his 1983 gay nuns dramedy Dark Habits was his “international baptism” and said the Golden Lion “is going to become my pet, along with the two cats I live with.”

Almodóvar will attend Venice to receive the lifetime honor. The 76th Venice International Film Festival runs from August 28 – September 7, 2019.