San Sebastian (Spain) (AFP)

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 post on social networks.

Mario Camus, whose main films were inspired by great literary works, gained worldwide notoriety when "La Colmena" (The Hive), on the consequences of the Spanish Civil War, won the Golden Bear in Berlin, in 1983 .

The following year, "Los santos inocentes" (The Saints innocents), about 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.

"Those of us who love cinema and theater, today we are in mourning. We bid farewell 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".

© 2021 AFP