AGUSTÍ VILLARONGA, NATIONAL AWARD OF CINEMATOGRAPHY 2011
"For his poetry and ability to build a personal look that has managed to connect with the public through his film Pa Negre."
Agustí Villaronga, director of PA NEGRE, the great winner of the 2011 Goya Awards, was awarded today the 2011 National Cinematography Prize by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) of the Ministry of Culture.
AGUSTÍ VILLARONGA AND ME
That he and I have the same astral chart means that if one had not been born in Mallorca and another had not been born in Barcelona we could have lived together in the nursery from the first minute of our birth. This happy coincidence that the day we signed our first contract to shoot for the Franco-German chain Arte, EL PASAJERO CLANDESTINO, we thought it was a transcription error of the contract, perhaps it was the first omen that something had to happen if we proposed together. The truth is that we knew very little at the time. He had not shot for seven years, depressed by the difficulties and betrayals that an author who wants to be rabidly faithful to his work must undergo, and I insisted that he accept the commission, that the best he could do was throw meters, that ours is a craft and experience is a range, which the French had chosen from several proposals and which for God's sake! he could not despise such an opportunity. I guess that's what he means when he says I took him out of the well. That adventure was not resolved in one of his best films but for me it was one of the most important lessons of my career as a producer: when an author has the talent he has you never commission anything that is not intimately linked to his deep thematic convictions. and artistic. We both came out of that shoot on the Tahitian islands overwhelmed by a landscape that Gauguin obsessively painted and where Stevenson dreamed of TREASURE ISLAND. And from there came the promise that the next project we would share would be his to the core. And it was THE SEA. Based on a novel by Blai Bonet, a Mallorcan poet of extraordinary sensitivity. How I enjoyed that dive by his side! That experience gave full meaning to my profession which has since become exciting to me and which posed a challenge for me to solve: how EL MAR, being so good, won an award in the official section of the Berlin Festival, reached such a small audience, What a waste! Since then I set out to solve the dilemma that leads to the assumption that authorship and the general public are at odds and from those two fascinating experiences that had united us in good and in bad came BLACK BREAD, a commission, true, but so tailored, carried out with so much freedom and so much joint passion that it could only go well. What the fuck! A guy like him deserved to find his audience, a large audience. He let himself be carried away by that audience and that was my only mission and I thank him with all my soul for the humility, the cowardice and the generosity he squandered. The film has won many awards and has made so many national and international viewers enjoy that we can now say that we have won that shared bet. Today, when he has been awarded the National Film Prize, so deserved, I can only affirm my enormous admiration for this great creator of images, of poetics who is Agustí Villaronga, my accomplice, because we have shared everything, my great friend, because I love him and my author, because he has done it to me too.