Spanish actress Maribel Verdu said during an appearance at a film festival in Colombia that after Spain, Mexico was the country she "owed" the most.

Verdu said films made in Mexico allowed her to gain international popularity.

The actress spoke during a seminar in Bogota, where she was the special guest at the 2nd Spanish Film Festival.

The festival, which runs until Aug. 9, is screening films in Bogota, Cartagena, Cali, Medellin and Barranquilla.

Verdu, who has had a wide-ranging career in theater and film, starred in the Mexican films "El laberinto del fauno" (Pan's Labyrinth) (2006), directed by Guillermo del Toro; "Y tu mama tambien" (And Your Mother, Too) (2001), by Alfonso Cuaron; and "La Zona" (The Zone) (2007), directed by Rodrigo Pla.

The actress said "El laberinto del fauno" opened the way for her to win an Ariel in Mexico, her first big film prize.

"I never made it past the nominations" until then and winning the prize showed "how much they love you in that country," Verdu said.

"When they gave me the Ariel in Mexico, they had not given me any prizes in Spain," the actress said.

Verdu won the Ariel for best actress, Mexico's top film prize, from the Mexican Academy of Film Arts and Sciences in 2007 for her performance in Del Toro's dark fantasy "El laberinto del fauno." EFE