“I must have been about 10 when my parents let me finish a roll of 8mm film in a Meopta camera. Putting my eye to that mysterious little window, felt like dreaming awake… it was the most amazing way to look at everything… I immediately loved it… kept filming long after the roll ran out!”
Bruno Lazaro, born in Madrid, Spain, is a critically acclaimed Spanish-Canadian filmmaker and video artist. His work often explores themes of cultural duality and questions the control of the individual by the state.
The narrative structure of his films tends towards non-linear, dream-like constructions where an impressionist portrayal of character and action provoke emotional connections to the viewer outside the usual realm of film plot tradition. “Evokes the works of such masters of modernist existentialism as Andrei Tarkovsky and Wim Wenders.” (Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival)
He completed his film studies at the Centre for the Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada where he began making short fiction, documentary and experimental films as an independent writer and director.
Most notable among his first films are HATE TO LOVE (1982) awarded at the Chicago International Film Festival and invited to the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes, and SWINGSPAN (1986) which was also awarded and screened at festivals throughout the USA and Europe.
He made his first feature film THE TRAVELLER in Vancouver in 1989. This film was screened at many festivals worldwide including the Toronto International Film Festival and the Festival international du nouveau cinema in Montreal. The film participated in several retrospectives including the prestigious presentation of Canadian Cinema at the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris, France.
After moving to Toronto, he made the controversial sci-fi cult film CITY OF DARK in 1997. This film was awarded “most innovative film language” at Figueira da Foz, Portugal and invited to numerous festivals including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Independent Film Project in New York, and L’Alternativa festival de cinema independent in Barcelona, Spain.
In 2011 he completed an “experimental fiction documentary” feature film THERE ARE NO OUTDOOR ICE RINKS IN MADRID which was screened at the DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver and received Special Mention at the Festival de Cine de Ronda: Cine Político para el siglo XXI.
His most successful film to date was the low-budget independent feature film, IT’S FOR YOU! (2004) This film, shot both in Toronto and Barcelona, has been invited to many festivals including San Sebastián, São Paulo and Manila, and awarded the “Grand prix” at both the Biennale du cinema in Annecy and (ex-aequo) at the Festival international du cinéma nouvelle generation in Lyon (France).
Bruno Lazaro has taught filmmaking at various film schools and universities including at the Universidad de Carlos III, the Universidad de Alcala de Henares, (Spain), the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Simon Fraser University Centre for the Arts, and at Emily Carr College of Art and Design (Canada).
He has been a guest programmer and jury member at international film festivals as well as a contributor to the film program at the National Museum Reina Sofia and the Fimoteca Española (Madrid). He also founded and directed the Festival of Canadian Cinema in Madrid.