Spanish director and producer Pere Portabella (sometimes known as Pedro Portabella) earned a degree in chemistry before co-founding the Films 59 production company with Francisco Molero in 1959. This influential company was responsible for Marco Ferreri's El Cochecito/The Wheelchair (1959), Carlos Saura's feature-length debut Los Golfos/The Hoodlums and Luis Buñuel's Viridiana (1961). Interested in experimental cinema, Portabella was remarkably unconcerned with whether or not mass audiences liked or understood his work. His debut work, Nocturno 29 (1968), was filmed without dialogue and like all his early works received extremely limited release. Portabella threw his hat into the political arena in 1977 and served as a senator until 1988. Afterwards, he returned to the film industry with the Catalan film Pont de Varsòvia/Warsaw Bridge (1989). In the early '90s, Portabella directed a few episodes of the Catalan television series Made in Barcelona. In 1997, Portabella produced José Luís Guerin's Tren de Sombras: Le Spectre de le Tuit, the haunting tale of a photographer who mysteriously disappears while taking an early morning stroll around a lake.