Uruguayan Pedro Luque wins Goya for Best Cinematography

The cinematographer won the award for his work on the film phenomenon Society of the Snow, co-produced in Uruguay.
Publication date: 12/02/2024

Uruguayan cinematographer Pedro Luque won a Goya award for his work on Society of the Snow. This film was partly shot in Uruguay and has been gaining popularity on Netflix, with nearly 80 million views and a place among the favorites for the Oscars for Best International Film and Best Makeup and Hairstyling.

“To all the people who were on that plane,” Luque dedicated the award at the ceremony held at the Valladolid Fair, which he attended with his mother. “I’m glad to have told the story with Jota (Spanish director Juan Antonio Bayona) honestly and lovingly, which is what we wanted to do. I remember a teacher at my public school in Uruguay when I was very young and perhaps a bit lazy, who told me that climbing the mountain was very difficult but that the view was much nicer from the top, so thank you,” said the visibly moved filmmaker, born in the Montevideo neighborhood of La Blanqueada and currently based in Los Angeles, Hollywood.

Luque, who already enjoys prestige in Hollywood for his participation in essential productions, arrived at the mecca of cinema thanks to Federico Álvarez and Rodo Sayagués and their explosive short film Ataque de pánico (Panic Attack). Luque was later in charge of photography for projects by the same team and others in productions such as No Respires, No Respires 2, Evil Dead, and La Chica de la telaraña, among others. His talented work as a cinematographer led him to be elected a member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences of Hollywood.

With his participation in Society of the Snow, the most challenging of his career due to the particular lighting conditions of the mountain and the snow, Luque distinguished himself for the alternation of analog and digital resources with which he was able to capture drama, beauty, and hope in an inhospitable environment and a human story full of extremes.

He used different approaches and techniques to involve the audience in a story set in the 1970s. The filming included LED screens in studios, as well as helicopters in the mountains, drones, extended backgrounds in post-production, digital interventions in the visual effects, and very extreme color, according to an interview with the newspaper El Observador.

The Snow Society recreates the story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes in 1972 and relived one of the most incredible feats in human history. The film, based on the book of the same name by Pablo Vierci and with Uruguayan locations and technical resources, was also among the BAFTA nominees for Best Foreign Language Film.