José María de Orbe

Videoart - Photography

Artist, director, and screenwriter of Spanish cinema.

Orbe combines his cinematic work with artistic photography and has created exhibitions in galleries and national entities such as Galeria Senda (Barcelona) and Galería Kur (San Sebastian).

“Aita” (2010), his most notable feature film, was considered one of the top ten best films of the year by magazine Sight&Sound; the film received awards including The Silver Shell for best photography (Zinemaldi, San Sebastián); The Silver Puma Award for Best Film (FICUNAM, México); and has been featured at the MoMa - Documentary Fortnight (New York) and in London’s Tate Modern - Joan Miro Anthropology, among others.

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José María de Orbe and Klingenberg (San Sebastián, 1958) graduated in 1985 with a degree in cinematographic direction from the American Film Institute (Los Angeles).
Throughout his career, he has directed and written feature films such as “La linea recta” (2007), which competed in the official sections of the international festivals Gijón and BAFICI (Argentina), and “Aita” (2010), his most recognized film and deserving of the “Best Film” Award at FICUNAM (Mexico); Award for “Best Photography” at the San Sebastian International Film Festival (Spain); “Best Director and Jury Special” Awards at the La Roche sur Yon Film Festival (France); and the “Special Jury and Best Director” Awards at the Hong Kong Film Festival. “Aita” has been screened at the MoMa – Documentary Fortnight (New York) and London’s Tate Modern – Joan Miró Anthology, among others.

As a producer, he has received the Fipresci Award at the 2003 Cannes Festival for the feature film “Las Horas del día”; the Goya for best documentary for “Un instante en la vida ajena” in 2004; and the Goya for Best Film in 2007 for “La Soledad”. He also stands out as a screenwriter for a documentary about the creation of a sculpture by Eduardo Chillida “De Chillida a Hokusai” (1997), directed by Susan Chillida.

He has worked as an advertising director and founded the production company O'Partners together with Pepo Sol. Subsequently, he works as a freelance director making more than 400 advertising spots in Spain, France, Germany, England, the USA, Japan; and collaborated with large international agencies such as Mc Cann Ericson, Young & Rubicam, BBDO, Publicis, Densu-Japón, Bassat, Casadevall & Pedreño -Prg, SCPF, Vinizius, Dimensió. He has won several awards at numerous advertising festivals, highlighting several bronze lions at the Cannes Festival, and other awards at the San Sebastián, FIAP, Clio festivals, etc. He won the Grand Prize at the 2004 El Sol festival for the BMW Crossroads spot, inspired by his own experimental film.
In March 2004 he exhibited his installation “Ausencias” at the Peironcely gallery in Madrid, and in 2008 he made a series of outdoor installations in the Salinas de Menorca.

Between 2012 and 2015 he began to develop various photographic projects, including RIZOMAS, THE NEIGHBOR'S PROJECT, WHITE DREAMS or CATTARAUGUS COUNTY SIDE B. His photographs have been exhibited in various Spanish galleries such as Galería Valid (Barcelona, 2017), Galería KUR (San Sebastián , 2019), Galería Blanca Berlin (Madrid, 2019), and her work is part of the permanent collection of the LÔAC Museum (Menorca).

In 2015 he began working on the feature film project Barkatu, within the Master of Creation Documentary program at IDEC (Pompeu Fabra University). This project is currently in the financing phase. In the same year he joined the UPF Faculty of Communication as an associate professor.



> LÔAC Museum. Alaior, Menorca PHOTO EXHIBITIONS
> 2023. Melancolía. Convent of San Diego, Alaior, Menorca

> 2020. The Family Gallery, Mahón, Menorca

> 2019. Solidarizarte. Blanca Berlin Gallery, Madrid

> 2017. Exposición colectiva Fundación Pequeño Deseo. Senda Gallery, Barcelona
> 2017. Just Mad. Blanca Berlin Gallery, Madrid
> 2016. The Neighbor’s Project. FINER Art, Igualada

> 2016. American Hoyses. Feria Revelat, Vilassar de Mar, Barcelona
> 2015. Unua. Valid Photo Gallery, Barcelona

> 2014. Ausencias. Peyronceli Gallery, Madrid

> 2014. 8 pintores + 1 cineasta. Trama Gallery, Barcelona

> 2014. The Neighbor’s Project. Quiosk Gallery, Tremp, Lleida


As a film director

> 2010. Aita - Best Film. FICUNAM, Mexico

> 2010. Aita - Best Photography. San Sebastian International Film Festival

> 2010. Aita - Best Director and jury special. La Roche sur Yon Film Festival, France
> 2010. Aita - Best Director and jury special. Hong Kong Film Festival

As a producer

> 2007. La Soledad - Best Film. Goya Awards

> 2004. Un instante en la vida ajena - Best Documentary. Goya Awards
> 2003. Las horas perdidas - Piresci Prize. Cannes Film Festival
As a publicist

> Grand Prize of the “El Sol” festival in San Sebastián
> Golden Lion at the Cannes festival

> Bronze Lion at the Cannes festival

> Gold, Silver and Bronze Suns at the “El Sol” festival
> Other awards at the FIAPP Festival in NY, etc.


> Film direction. American Film Institute, Los Angeles-CA, USA
> German School of San Sebastián