Spanish director Mario Camus, whose film

La Colmena

 won first prize at the Berlin Film Festival, died on Saturday at the age of 86.

"The filmmaker Mario Camus died in Santander" (Cantabria), announced the Spanish Academy of Arts and Sciences of Cinema, in a message on social networks.

Mario Camus, whose main films were inspired by great literary works, gained worldwide notoriety when

La Colmena

(The Hive), on the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, won the Golden Bear in Berlin in 1983.

An honorary Goya in 2011

The following year,

Los santos inocentes

(Les Saints innocents), on a family of poor peasants from Extremadura exploited under Francoism, received the Special Mention of the jury at the Cannes Film Festival.

Its two main actors, Francisco Rabal and Alfredo Landa, were jointly awarded the Best Actor Award.

In 2011, Mario Camus also received an honorary Goya, the Goyas being the equivalent of the Oscars for Spanish cinema.

His death came the day after the death, at age 95, of the Spanish playwright and screenwriter Alfonso Sastre, who openly criticized censorship during the Franco dictatorship (1939-1975).

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez paid tribute to them on Saturday, via Twitter.

A tribute from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez

“Those of us who love cinema and theater, we are in mourning today.

We say goodbye to two great names in culture, Alfonso Sastre and Mario Camus.

From our seats in the audience, we will continue to appreciate their extraordinary works, ”he wrote.

“My condolences to their families, their friends and to the world of culture”.

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