Raised in Spain after his Chile-based parents fled the country shortly before the 1973 right-wing coup d’état, Amenábar decided to be a filmmaker early on, heading to Madrid’s Complutense University to study cinema. Undeterred after his professors flunked him, Amenábar learned the craft firsthand on low-budget productions. Backed by a producer and star he met during his “apprenticeship,” Amenábar burst onto the Spanish film scene at the ripe old age of 23 as writer/director and composer with his first feature, Tesis (1996). A moody mystery involving a cinema graduate student and snuff films, Tesis was shown at the Berlin Film Festival and earned several Spanish Academy Awards. Amenábar then scored an even bigger hit with his next film, Open Your Eyes (1997). A complex psychological thriller about a womanizing egotist who is disfigured in an accident, Open Your Eyes became a blockbuster in Spain, bringing Amenábar his first international distribution and a Sundance Film Festival berth… read more
This is wrong. Vanilla Sky is Cameron Crowe's adaptation of Abre los Ojos (Open your Eyes), the Amenabar's film.