Juan José Ballesta was only nine when he debuted in the TV series Querido maestro (1997) but his real break came when director Achero Mañas gave him the title role in his sensitive Truffaut-like tale of two youths El Bola (2000). The film garnered lots of awards, of which young Juan José got a fairly impressive share,namely the 2001 Best Actor Award given by the Cinema Writers Circle of Spain, the 2001 Best New Actor Goya and 2001 the Newcomer Award by the Spanish Actors Union. Now aged twenty-three, Juan José is still present on the Spanish screens and is on the way for a long career.