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Fernando Solanas

Fernando Solanas
Solanas at the Guadalajara Film Festival, 2008
Argentine Ambassador to UNESCO
In office
10 December 2019 – 6 November 2020
Preceded byRodolfo Terragno
Succeeded byMarcela Losardo
National Senator
In office
10 December 2013 – 10 December 2019
ConstituencyCity of Buenos Aires
National Deputy
In office
10 December 2009 – 10 December 2013
ConstituencyCity of Buenos Aires
Personal details
Born(1936-02-16)16 February 1936
Olivos, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Died6 November 2020(2020-11-06) (aged 84)
Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Cause of deathCOVID-19[1]
Political partyBroad Front (1993–1994)
Proyecto Sur (2007–2020)
Other political
South Alliance (1995)
Broad Front UNEN (2013–2015)
Creo (2017)
Frente de Todos (2019–2020)
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter, politician

Fernando Ezequiel "Pino" Solanas (16 February 1936 – 6 November 2020)[1] was an Argentine film director, screenwriter, score composer and politician. His films include; La hora de los hornos (The Hour of the Furnaces) (1968), Tangos: el exilio de Gardel (1985), Sur (1988), El viaje (1992), La nube (1998) and Memoria del saqueo (2004), among many others. He was National Senator representing the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires for six years, from 2013 to 2019.

Solanas studied theatre, music, and law. In 1962, he directed his first short feature Seguir andando and in 1968 he covertly produced and directed his first long feature film La Hora de los Hornos, a documentary on neo-colonialism and violence in Latin America. The film won several international awards and was screened around the world. Solanas won the Grand Jury Prize and the Critics Award at the Venice Film Festival and the Prix de la mise en scène at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1999 he was the President of the Jury at the 21st Moscow International Film Festival.[2] He was awarded a special Honorary Golden Bear at the 2004 Berlin Film Festival. He collaborated with tango composer and musician Ástor Piazzolla on the soundtracks for various movies.


Solanas on the set of Tangos: el exilio de Gardel, 1985.

Solanas was at the forefront of the Grupo Cine Liberación which shook Argentine cinema during the 1970s, developing its social conscience and political voice. He was active in the campaign to support Perón[3][citation needed]. Threatened by right-wing forces in the 1970s, one of his actors was assassinated and he himself was almost kidnapped.

Together with Octavio Getino, Solanas wrote the manifesto "Toward a Third Cinema". The idea of a political Third Cinema, opposed to Hollywood cinema and European auteur cinema, inspired film makers in many so-called developing countries.

Solanas went into exile in Paris in 1976, only returning to Argentina with the arrival of democracy in 1983.

Solanas accepting a Silver Mayahuel award at the Guadalajara Film Festival, 2008.

Political career

Solanas continued to make political films and was an outspoken critic of Carlos Menem, the Argentine President. Three days after such a public criticism, on 21 May 1991, Solanas was shot six times in his legs. Those responsible were never caught but Solanas always thought that Menem was behind it.[4] Despite dealing with the attack and disability, Solanas became even more involved in politics and stood to be a Senator for Buenos Aires, receiving 7% of the vote in 1992. A year later he was elected a National Deputy for the Frente Grande list, although he left the party after a year.

Solanas continued to write and direct, including the 2005 film La Dignidad de los Nadies and the 2008 film La última estación. His son, Juan Solanas, is also a noted film director.

In October 2007, Solanas was a presidential candidate in the 2007 Argentine general election for the Authentic Socialist Party. He became the 5th most voted candidate, with 1.58% of the vote.

In 2009, Solanas was elected as a National Deputy for the city of Buenos Aires in the June 28th parliamentary elections, as his party Proyecto Sur attained the second largest political representation in the city by collecting 24.2% of the votes. In 2013, Solanas was elected National Senator, representing Buenos Aires City from 2013 to 2019.

In 2018 Solanas was vehemently for the legalization of abortion, claiming that sexual pleasure is a "fundamental human right".[5]

In 2019, following the end of his term as senator, he was appointed as Argentina's ambassador to UNESCO; he served in the position until his death from COVID-19 in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, on 6 November 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic in France.[1]



Awards and Nominations [6]
Ceremony Year Category Results
Venice Film Festival 1985 Grand Special Jury Prize Won
1998 CinemAvvenire Award (Best Film in Competition) Won
Golden Lion Nominated
UNESCO Award - Special Mention Won
2005 Award of the City of Rome (Best Film) Won
Doc/It Award Won
Human Rights Film Network Award Won
Montréal World Film Festival 2001 Grand Prix Special des Amériques Won
Mar del Plata Film Festival 2004 Best Film Nominated
Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival 1968 Interfilm Award Won
Havana Film Festival 2007 Special Jury Prize (Documentary) Won
2005 Memoria Documentary Award Won
Saúl Yelín Award Won
1998 CARACOL Award Won
Honorary Award Won
Saúl Yelín Award Won
1992 Special Jury Prize Won
1988 Grand Coral - First Prize Won
1985 Grand Coral - First Prize Won
Gramado Film Festival 1992 Golden Kikito (Best Ibero-American Film (Melhor Filme) Nominated
Cannes Film Festival 1992 Golden Palm Nominated
Prize of the Ecumenical Jury - Special Mention Won
Technical Grand Prize Won
1990 Audience Award Won
1989 Audience Award Won
1988 Best Director Won
Golden Palm Nominated
British Film Institute Awards 1972 Sutherland Trophy Won
Berlin International Film Festival 2004 Honorary Golden Berlin Bear Won
1971 FIPRESCI Prize - Special Mention Won
Argentinean Film Critics Association Awards 2010 Silver Condor (Best Documentary Feature (Mejor Largometraje Documental)) Nominated
2009 Silver Condor (Best Documentary Feature (Mejor Largometraje Documental)) Nominated
Silver Condor (Best Editing (Mejor Montaje)) Nominated
Silver Condor (Best Screenplay, Documentary (Mejor Guión Largometraje Documental)) Nominated
2008 Silver Condor (Best Documentary Feature (Mejor Largometraje Documental)) Nominated
2006 Silver Condor (Best Documentary (Mejor Documental)) Nominated
Silver Condor (Best Screenplay, Documentary (Mejor Guión Documental)) Nominated
2005 Silver Condor (Best Documentary (Mejor Largometraje Documental) Nominated
Silver Condor (Best Screenplay, Feature-Length Documentary (Mejor Guión Largometraje Documental)) Nominated
1999 Silver Condor (Best Director (Mejor Director)) Nominated
1987 Silver Condor (Best Director (Mejor Director)) Won
Silver Condor (Best Music (Mejor Música)) Won
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina 2009 Award of the Argentinean Academy (Best Documentary) Nominated
2008 Award of the Argentinean Academy (Best Documentary) Won


"The possibility of making a new cinema completely outside the system depends on whether or not filmmakers can transform themselves from 'directors' into total filmmakers. And no one can become a total filmmaker without being a film technician, without being capable of handling the production."[7]

"We realized that the important thing was not the film itself but that which the film provoked."[8]


  1. ^ a b c "Murió por coronavirus en París el político y cineasta Fernando "Pino" Solanas". Infobae (in Spanish). 7 November 2020. Retrieved 4 December 2020.
  2. ^ "21st Moscow International Film Festival (1999)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 2013-03-22. Retrieved 2013-03-23.
  3. ^ Akomfrah, John. "Fernando Solanas (1936-2020)". Sabzian.
  4. ^ Politi, Daniel (4 December 2020). "Fernando Solanas, Argentine Filmmaker and Politician, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  5. ^ Politi, Daniel (4 December 2020). "Fernando Solanas, Argentine Filmmaker and Politician, Dies at 84". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 December 2021.
  6. ^ "Fernando E. Solanas Awards - List of awards won by Fernando E. Solanas, including award nominations - FamousFix". Retrieved 2021-12-08.
  7. ^ "Program in Film and Video". Retrieved 23 April 2011.
  8. ^ "Quotes on Documentary". Retrieved 6 December 2021.

Further reading

  • Fernando Solanas and Octavio Getino, "Towards a Third Cinema" in: Movies and Methods. An Anthology, edited by Bill Nichols, University of Arizona Press 1976, pp 44–64
  • Jessica Stites Mor. Transition Cinema: Political Filmmaking and the Argentine Left since 1968. Pittsburgh, 2012.
  • Stoffel Debusyere and John Akomfrah, "Fernando Solanas (1936-2020)" Sabzian 9.11.20.
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Fernando Solanas
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