Pedro Almodóvar
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b. September 24, 1951
"I don't make judgments about what's good or bad or what's real and isn't in culture."
Pedro Almodóvar has written and directed 16 movies, including "Mala Educación" and "Volver." His movies are known for their progressive themes including transgenderism, homosexuality and feminism and also for their racy sexuality, irony and wit.
One of four children, Almodóvar was born to poor working class parents in Cazada de Calatrava, Spain.  At age 8, he was sent to a religious boarding school, an experience that left a lasting impression on Almodóvar, who's films are heavy-laden with religious themes.
While attending boarding school, he lost his religious faith and turned to avid movie watching.  Almodóvar later recalls, “cinema became my real education, much more than the one I received from the priest. ” 
At age 17, Almodóvar moved to Madrid without money or contacts. After working low-paying jobs, he eventually secured a good position with Telefónica, the national Spanish phone company. His new job enabled him to buy a Super 8 video camera and shoot his first short film, "Dos Putas, o Historia de Amor que Termina en Boda" (1974).
In 1980, Almodóvar's first publicly acclaimed film, "Pepi, Luci, Bom y Otras Chicas del Montón," premiered during the birth of the Spanish democracy. The film challenged conventional mores and transgressed sexual boundaries. Almodóvar has gone on to write and direct 15 films.
Almodóvar and his films have won over 30 awards, including The Best European Director of the Year (1999) and The Best European Film of the Year(1999) from the European Film Awards. He discovered star actors Antonio Banderas and Penelope Cruz, who won an Oscar nomination for her performance in "Volver."  Almodóvar continues to write and direct  innovative films.