Guillermo Arriaga in conversation with Pepa Fernández

LOVE, VIOLENCE AND REDEMPTION IN SAVING THE FIRE

Segovia 2020 , 

Fundación Telefónica and Hay Festival join forces once again in the capital of Spain on the eve of this year’s edition in Segovia. On this occasion the guest will be the Mexican writer Guillermo Arriaga, winner of the 2020 Alfaguara novel prize for his work Salvar el fuego (Saving the Fire). The Espacio Fundación Telefónica will host the award ceremony, after which Arriaga will speak the journalist Pepa Fernández. The jury, which was chaired by the Mexican writer Juan Villoro and composed by Laura Alcoba, Antonio Lucas, Edurne Portela, Jesús Rodríguez Trueba and Pilar Reyes, highlights the author's ability “to narrate with intensity and dynamism a violent story in present day Mexico in which love and redemption are still possible”.

Guillermo Arriaga is the author of screenplays for films such as Amores perros, 21 Grams (21 gramos) or Babel for which he was nominated for the best original screenplay Oscar, Golden Globe and Bafta awards. As a novelist, critics have acknowledged his ambition, originality and passion as a narrator. His career began in 1991 with the novel The Guillotine Squad (Escuadrón guillotina). He would then write A Sweet Scent of Death (Un dulce olor a muerte), The Night Buffalo (El búfalo de la noche) for which he also wrote the adapted screenplay. and El salvaje, which earned him the Mazatlán Literature Award. He has also written a book of short stories Retorno 201. Aside from the aforementioned, he has written the screenplay for Three Burials (Los tres entierros de Melquíades Estrada) – for which he received the best screenwriter award at the Cannes Film Festival in 2005 and which was directed by Tommy Lee Jones. After making several short films, he made his debut as a director of a feature film with The Burning Plane (Lejos de la tierra quemada). He produced and co-wrote the story of From Afar (Desde allá), the first Spanish-American film to win the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival. Recently, Arriaga was selected by an international panel as one of the hundred most influential film writers in history

Photograph of Guillermo Arriaga: © Claudia Rubio, courtesy of Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial

Event in Spanish