Fernando Trueba, Honored at the 26th Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival

In Film & Series 1 March, 2024

Eva Peydró

Eva Peydró


The Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival will open its 26th edition on 7 March with the screening at the Olympion Theatre of the animated musical documentary They Shot the Piano Player, co-directed by Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal. The winner of the Oscar for Best Foreign Film with Belle Époque (1992) will attend the opening ceremony presenting his film to the audience and will be honored with the Golden Alexander of honor for his contribution to cinema and culture.

The 26th edition of the TiDF will also host a showcase of the Spanish film director, who can also boast a successful contribution as a music producer, having won two Grammy Awards and four Latin Grammy Awards. The Festival will screen three films that revolve around his deep love and knowledge of music. Fernando Trueba recently finished shooting Haunted Heart in the Volos region of Greece, starring Matt Dillon and Aida Folch, who plays a new waitress in love with a restaurant manager with a dark past.

Fernando Trueba’s professional career has been in some ways parallel to that of the great authors of the Nouvelle Vague, since he also began his career as a film critic, first in the newspaper El País in the late 1970s, and later founding the monthly magazine Casablanca in 1980, which would become a reference point for Spanish cinephilia. That same year he debuted as a film director with the film Ópera Prima, the peak and initiator of the Madrid comedy of the decade. Trueba achieved his first international success with El sueño del mono loco (1989), starring Jeff Goldblum and Miranda Richardson, which won three Goya awards: for Best Film, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Belle Époque, four years later, would win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, followed by The Girl of Your Dreams (La niña de tus ojos, 1998), starring Penélope Cruz, which added another seven Goya Awards to Trueba’s career, the film went down in history as one of Spanish cinema’s biggest box-office hits of the 1990s and would have a sequel in 2016 entitled The Queen of Spain (La reina de España).

The selection of films by Fernando Trueba to be screened at the 26th Thessaloniki International Documentary Film Festival is as follows:

  • They Shot the Piano Player (2023), the inaugural film, which represents the latest collaboration with visual artist Javier Mariscal, focuses on the bossa nova, through a neo-noir animated docudrama. Jeff Goldblum again collaborates with the director, lending his voice to the protagonist, a music journalist who tries to find out who Brazilian pianist Francisco Tenório Júnior was, while investigating his mysterious disappearance during a tour in Buenos Aires. The film is set in the 1960s and 1970s, shortly before Latin America was plunged into a maelstrom of totalitarian regimes. Through a series of interviews conducted by Trueba himself over 15 years, including music icons such as João Gilberto and Caetano Veloso, the film interweaves the personal and the political, against the backdrop of a turbulent period in Latin American history. They Shot the Piano Player is a musical film in the form of a political thriller.

Dispararon al pianista

  • Calle 54, in which Fernando Trueba turns his fascination with Latin jazz, is a documentary that includes live performances by the genre’s most iconic names at the legendary Sony Music studios on 54th Street in New York: Paquito D’Rivera, Eliane Elias, Chano Domínguez, Jerry González, Michel Camilo, “Gato” Barbieri, Tito Puente, “Chucho” Valdés, “Cachao” López, Puntilla Rios, “Patato” Valdés, and Bebo Valdés. With the same title as his film, two years later, Trueba founded his music label.
  • In 2010, Fernando Trueba once again collaborated with Mariscal, who had designed both the poster for Calle 54 and all the album covers released by his label, Calle 54 Records. The result was Chico & Rita, which had the honor of being the first animated film to be nominated for an Oscar. This story of love and music, hopes and losses was inspired by one of Cuba’s greatest musicians in history, Bebo Valdés, unveiling multiple stories of musicians, some of whom participate in the film, such as Guillermo Barreto, Nat King Cole, Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, Miguelito Valdés and Chano Pozo among others.
Fernando Trueba

Fernando Trueba receives the Alexander of honor from the President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou. Photo: TiDF.

Article updated on 8 March 2024.

Suscríbete a nuestra newsletter

* indicates required


“Chucho” Valdés26th Thessalokini International Documentary Festival“Cachao” LópezFernando TruebaPuntilla RiosJavier Mariscal“Patato” ValdésPaquito D'RiveraBebo ValdésEliane EliasGuillermo BarretoChano DomínguezNat King ColeJerry GonzálezThelonious MonkMichel CamiloDizzy GillespieCharlie Parker“Gato” BarbieriMiguelito ValdésTito PuenteChano Pozo

Related posts


You have to be login to leave a comments.

No comments

No one has posted any comments yet. Be the first person!