|Birth Day:||December 14, 1966|
|Birth Place:||Salta, Argentina, Argentina|
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While attending IDAC, Martel directed the animated short films El 56 ("The 56") in 1988 and Piso 24 ("24th Floor") in 1989.
In 1999, Martel's screenplay for her debut feature film La Ciénaga won the Sundance Institute/NHK Award, which honors and supports emerging independent filmmakers "who contribute to the world's visual culture and promote cultural exchanges". The jury recommended that she re-write the script to follow a more traditional structure around one or two protagonists, but Martel chose instead to retain the script's diffuse nature. To cast the film's child actors, Martel held 2,400 auditions, 1,600 of which she recorded on video in a garage near her home in Salta.
In 2001, Martel was selected for the third edition of the Cannes Film Festival Cinéfondation artist-in-residence program, designed to inspire and support young international filmmakers working on their first or second feature film. As part of the program, Martel lived in Paris for four and a half months, attended forums and worked with film industry professionals in developing her second feature film, The Holy Girl, which premiered in 2004.
In May 2008, Martel was reported as slated to direct the film adaptation of The Eternaut, the very popular Argentine science fiction comic strip created by Héctor Germán Oesterheld and Francisco Solano López in 1957 about a toxic snowfall and alien invasion of Buenos Aires. In October 2008, Martel said of the project to BOMB Magazine: "I sent my idea of how to adapt it to the producer, and he was interested. I also know that members of the Oesterheld family liked it." According to film scholar Deborah Martin, Martel was adapting it as a "meditation on power and social class in Buenos Aires." In 2009, however, the project was dropped, after significant work had been undertaken on it, due to conceptual differences with the producer.
Martel's 2010 short film Nueva Agirópolis ("New Argirópolis") metaphorically represents indigenous people's resistance to capture and interrogation by the Argentine state as well as the inevitable cultural hybridization that ensues between the two nations despite that resistance. It takes its name from the 1850 book Argirópolis, written by former Argentine President and political activist Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, in which Argirópolis is the name of the capital city of a utopian democratic confederacy among Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The short film was commissioned by the Argentine Ministry of Culture as part of the Bicentennial celebrations and shown in theaters as part of the larger anthology film 25 miradas, 200 minutos ("25 Looks, 200 Minutes", 2010), an introspective look at the history of Argentina from the point of view of 25 film directors.
In July 2011, Martel's short film Muta ("Mutate") premiered at an invitation-only event in Beverly Hills attended by stars like Emma Roberts, Hailee Steinfeld, Ashley Tisdale, Cat Deeley, Diane Kruger, Jeremy Renner, and Marilyn Manson. Commissioned by Miu Miu, the Italian high fashion company owned by Prada, the film is the second installment of the company's Women's Tales film series, which consists of short films produced in conjunction with high-profile international female directors. Directed and co-written by Martel, the film depicts a luxury modernist ghost ship haunted by faceless, insect-like female creatures attempting to rid themselves of the only man trying to get on board.
Martel says that "thanks to Rey muerto, [she] started to get jobs in television." From 1995 to 1999 she directed the unconventional children's program Magazine For Fai, in which child actors performed in different sketch comedies. In a 2013 interview with ABC Color, Martel says the show "became a cult for children.... It was not commercially known, but there are a lot of young people who saw it. Many of its actors are now stars of Argentine cinema." She also made two documentaries for television: Encarnación Ezcurra (1998), about the eponymous wife of Argentine politician and army officer Juan Manuel de Rosas, and Las dependencias (The Outbuildings) (1999), a reconstruction of the life of the celebrated Argentine short fiction writer Silvina Ocampo, which draws on the testimonies of Ocampo's servants and friends.
In August 2016, The Headless Woman ranked #89 on BBC's 100 Greatest Films of the 21st Century, polled from 177 film critics around the world.
Film scholar Deborah Martin wrote a full-length book on Martel's oeuvre, published in May 2016, in which she argues that Martel's films "demonstrate possibilities of rupture and escape through her cinematic recreations of rebellious young girls' forbidden desires.... Despite the fact that these films depict in detail structures of social and political oppression, desire acts as an uncontrollable and multiple force which can overcome these structures."
In February 2016, while editing Zama, Martel was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She stated that her illness caused a delay in the film's post-production but ultimately catalyzed its completion. In November 2017, IndieWire reported that she has been in remission since late 2016.
Martel's fourth feature film Zama premiered at the Venice International Film Festival in August 2017. An adaptation of Antonio di Benedetto's 1956 novel of the same name, it narrates the tragic story of Don Diego de Zama, a Spanish colonial functionary stationed in Asunción, Paraguay who waits, in vain, for his superiors to authorize his return home to his wife and family. It was an international co-production among eight countries: Argentina, Brazil, Spain, Mexico, France, the U.S., the Netherlands, and Portugal, with stars like Pedro Almodóvar, Gael García Bernal, and Danny Glover among its long list of producers. It went on to screen at the Toronto International Film Festival and New York Film Festival and received widespread acclaim from critics.
In primary school, Martel's uncle helped her develop interests in mythology, Greek, and Latin languages. In fifth grade, she set her sights on gaining admission to the elite, "ultra-Catholic" secondary school Bachillerato Humanista Moderno, because it was the only school in Salta that offered classes in ancient languages. Her parents opposed the school because of its elitist tradition which they felt reinforced class differences, but, because of the school's prominent alumni and Martel's intellectual curiosity, they did not stop her from her pursuit. Eventually, Martel passed the demanding entrance exam and enrolled in the school in the sixth grade. Since she came from a "solidly middle class" family, as she stated in a revealing 2008 interview with BOMB Magazine, Martel felt like an outsider at the school. Her peers, she said, attended the school because their families expected them to, while she only attended it so she could study Greek and Latin. In a 2018 interview with Gatopardo magazine, her mother said that at the school Martel was a "radical and challenging" honor roll student who excelled in science.
In May 2018, Martel was filmmaker-in-residence at the University of Cambridge, where she offered a sequence of seminars on her filmmaking practice to students, staff, and the university community.
In May 2019, Martel directed Icelandic singer Björk in Cornucopia, a theatrical concert production at The Shed, an arts center in Manhattan.
Currently, Lucrecia Martel is 56 years, 5 months and 25 days old. Lucrecia Martel will celebrate 57th birthday on a Thursday 14th of December 2023.
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