Leonardo Favio

Fuad Jorge Jury Olivera (Leonardo Favio) was born on May 28, 1938, in the district of Las Catitas, in the department of Santa Rosa, in the province of Mendoza. He lived in a poor and complicated neighborhood in Luján de Cuyo, and endured the early abandonment of his father. He had a troubled childhood and a series of petty thefts even led him to prison. He studied for a time as a seminarian and later entered the Navy, where he did not last long. His mother, Manuela Olivera Garcés (Laura Favio), actress, writer and producer of radio plays, used to get him small, poorly paid roles in Mendoza, a stage in which he also began to prepare his first scripts.

Leonardo Favio went to Buenos Aires. He worked as an extra in the film “El Ángel de España” (1958), by filmmaker Enrique Carreras, and then, under the sponsorship of Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, he began his acting career, participating in films such as “The Kidnapper” (1958) and “ End of the party” (1960), among others. His talent as a director was born with the short film “El Amigo” (1960), already having one work in tow, but unfinished: “El Señor Fernández” (1958).

Favio managed to obtain critical success and several national and international awards. He was recognized as a cult director, being part of the second range of directors who renewed Argentine cinema. Among the leaders of this new cinema in the sixties were his good friend and godfather Torre Nilsson and Fernando Ayala.

In 1965, with the script approved by Torre Nilsson, he premiered his debut film “Chronicle of a Solo Child”, produced by Luis Destéfano. And in 1967 he made “The Romance of Aniceto and Francisca”, with Federico Luppi, Elsa Daniel and María Vaner. Works that were evaluated among the best in the history of Argentine cinema.

In 1969 Favio premiered The Dependent, based on a story by his brother and co-writer Jorge Zuhair Jury (also director, writer, actor and painter). The film was classified by the then National Institute of Cinematography (today INCAA: National Institute of Cinema and Audiovisual Arts) as "non-mandatory exhibition", meaning the suppression of official Argentine support for the film.

It was then that Favio, perhaps motivated by the economic obstacles that cinema was causing him, decided to venture into professional singing, achieving success that allowed him, on numerous occasions, to pay for a large part of his films.

His debut as a singer was at La Botica del Ángel, located at Luis Saenz Peña 438 in the Monserrat neighborhood, at the hands of Eduardo Bergara Leumann. That same day, a CBS executive proposed that he record an album, resulting in Favio's first single “I want freedom,” which did not receive the expected success. The producer then advised him to record “Fuiste mia un Verano” and “O perhaps simply give him a rose”, which were icons of his first album, also titled “Fuiste mia un Verano”, in 1968. The album was emblematic, constituting the most classic of their repertoires. After his participation in the Viña del Mar International Song Festival (in Chile), Leonardo consolidated his international fame. As a singer and composer he was one of the precursors of the Latin American romantic ballad in the sixties and seventies, achieving success throughout Latin America.

But cinema was still his passion. After recording his second album Leonardo Favio, in 1969, and at the height of his success as a singer, he left the stage to dedicate himself completely to his film “Juan Moreira” from 1973. And then his next film “Nazareno Cruz y el lobo ” in 1975, which consolidated Favio as a director, making this the most watched film in the history of Argentine cinema.

In 1976, he made “Soñar, Soñar”, with Gian Franco Pagliaro and Carlos Monzón and, after the military coup, Leonardo Favio had to go into exile. Two years earlier, his first wife, María Vaner, had to do it, who went into exile in Spain with their son, Leonardo.

In 1976 he left Argentina, exiled by the self-proclaimed “National Reorganization Process.” During exile he began a tour of Latin America, then settled in the city of Pereira (Colombia), from where he toured various countries around the world, performing his songs. Back in Argentina, in 1987, he resumed his career as a film director filming “Gatica, el Mono” (1993). Film that part of the scenes were filmed at the Obras Sanitarias stadium, located at Avenida del Libertador 7395 in the Nuñez neighborhood. This work, in 1994, won the Goya Award for best foreign film. At the same time, Favio continued his career as a singer-songwriter, this time on shorter tours due to the time that cinema demanded.

Between 1996 and 1999 he made a documentary, which did not have a commercial release, titled “Perón, symphony of feeling.” In it he recounts in five hours and forty-five minutes the situation in Argentina between the First World War (1914-1918) and the death of Juan Domingo Perón (1974).

In 2001, Leonardo Favio received the Diploma of Merit from the Konex Awards as one of the five best film directors of the decade in Argentina.

His last work was “Aniceto”. There Favio performs the musical theme that closes the film, which in turn is the work of his son, the musician and composer Nico Favio (2005 Clarín award for revelation artist for Rodeado de Buenos Aires).

After being hospitalized for several weeks due to a chronic illness, on November 5, 2012, Leonardo Favio died of pneumonia at the age of 74 at the Anchorena Sanatorium in Buenos Aires.