Spain's Goya Awards: Genre Master Narciso Ibanez Serrador to Get Lifetime Honor

Narciso Ibanez Serrador - P 2018
Courtesy of Spanish Film Academy

He is the writer-director of such cult films as 'The House That Screamed' and 'Who Can Kill a Child?'

The Spanish Film Academy on Tuesday unveiled that the recipient of its 2019 lifetime achievement Goya of Honor award will be Narciso "Chicho" Ibanez Serrador, the writer-director of cult films like 1970’s The House That Screamed and 1976’s Who Can Kill a Child?

The selection recognizes the veteran director's role in popularizing the horror and fantasy genres in Spain, which have given rise to some of the country’s most acclaimed contemporary directors like J.A. Bayona (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Alejandro Amenabar (The Others), Alex de la Iglesia (The Oxford Murders), Jaume Balaguero (Rec), Mateo Gil (Blackthorn) and Paco Plaza (Veronica).

Several of these directors collaborated with Ibanez Serrador on a series of TV movies in 2006 called Peliculas para no dormir (Films to Not Sleep).

The full list of nominees in the 28 categories of this year’s 33rd edition of the Goya Awards will be unveiled in Madrid on Dec. 12. There are 151 films in the running, including 47 European and 16 Latin American titles. The ceremony for Spain’s top film awards will take place Feb. 2 in Seville.

The Academy noted that it had chosen Ibanez Serrador for the honorific prize “for being a creator of unique and original nightmares, for opening the door to a whole generation of Spanish filmmakers, who have always recognized his influence, and for his contribution to fantasy, suspense and terror."

Ibanez Serrador was born in Uruguay in 1935 to two actors, creating a childhood that revolved around the stage, which he called "my school, my university, my ancestors." He collaborated with both his parents, across Latin America and Spain, in constructing a career that spanned writing, directing and acting in theater, film and TV.

He is credited with helping to modernize Spanish television in the 1960s with innovative series, and he was active from the 1960s through the 1990s, with dozens of film and television titles to his name as writer and director. He launched his own production banner, Prointel, in 1970 and created one of Spain’s most beloved TV game shows, Un, Dos, Tres...Responda Otra Vez.

Ibanez Serrador has been recognized previously in Spain with many awards, including the National Television Award in 2010 and the Honorary Maria Award from the Sitges Film Festival in 2003.