Bollaín made her film debut as an actress at the age of sixteen in the film El sur
(1983). Her other appearances include films such as Malaventura
(1988), An Umbrella for Three
(Un paraguas para tres, 1992), Land and Freedom
(2000), They're Watching Us
(Nos miran, 2002). In 1991, she became a partner in the production company La iguana
, where she wrote screenplays and directed short films and documentaries. Her feature film debut was the film Hi, Are You Alone?
(Hola, estás sola?, 1995). She also made Flowers from Another World
(Flores de otro mundo, 1999) and Take My Eyes
(Te doy mis ojos, 2003), which won the Goya award for the best director and screenwriter in 2004.