Film Director (Palma, 1953)
Agustí Villaronga’s first film, Tras el cristal, caused a notorious controversy when it was released in 1987; much more than he had expected. The critics accused him of being sick, pro-Nazi, and a pederast. The Mallorcan film-maker accepted the criticism with resignation and sorrow, but did not let it discourage him. Until today, he has remained loyal to himself and his way of understanding cinema, by making dark, uncomfortable, risky and poetic films that always delve into the psychology of tormented characters who are motivated by the crudest side of evil.
Villaronga’s love of the cinema was awoken in his childhood. After receiving a strict religious upbringing and giving up the adolescent idea of becoming a missionary, he moved to Barcelona when he was seventeen. He went to university there and began to take an interest in acting. When he was eighteen he joined Núria Espert’s theatre company and went on a world tour. His experience in theatre opened doors for him to start working in the cinema, where he was atrezzista, he did costumes, sets and acted.
After Tras el cristal, which won numerous awards, Agustí has directed another six feauture films: El niño de la luna (1989) – with which he won a Goya award for the best original script– , El pasajero clandestino (1995), 99.9 (1997), El mar (2000) – winner of the Premi Nacional de Cinema of Catalonia-, Aro Tolbukhin: en la mente del asesino (2002) – co-directed with L. Zimmermann and I. P. Racine and winner of the Ariel award for the best original script -, and Pa Negre (2010), winner of 13 Gaudi awards and 9 Goya awards.