At 16 he had already directed his first short film in Super 8. In 1998 he directed the short Yul that won over 20 awards and in 2001 he released 15 Days, a fake documentary in the form of a large short film that earned over 57 awards at festivals, becoming the most awarded Spanish short film of the time. In 2007 he directed The Contestant (Concursante in Spanish), his first feature film that was released with critical applause and earned several awards, including the Critic's prize at Malaga Film Festival. He directed and edited the 2010 thriller Buried, starring Ryan Reynolds. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival, and has received considerable acclaim.As of September 2012, Cortés most recent film is Red Lights, a film that features performances from Robert De Niro, Sigourney Weaver and Cillian Murphy. Red Lights was released in the United States in July 2012.