Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed

'Living' already prized at Palm Springs Festival

David Trueba’s dramedy “Living is Easy With Eyes Closed” swept Spain’s 28th Goya Academy Awards Sunday, scooping best film, director, original screenplay, actor (Javier Camara) and breakthrough actress  (Natalia de Molina).

Ironically, another title snagged more kudos at this year’s Goyas, Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars, Alex de la Iglesia’s “Witching & Bitching,” which cleaned up on craft prizes – seven in all – and also won supporting actress for vet Terele Pavez.

Best actress went to Marian Alvarez for drama “Wounded,” whose helmer Fernando Franco also won first-time director. Playing a 30-year-old ambulance driver woman, Alvarez already took best actress prize at September’s San Sebastian Festival.

Sold at Berlin by Marina Fuentes’ Six Sales, period comedy “Living” marks David Trueba’s first Goya award after eight nominations.

Set in Franco’s Spain, comedy turns on a Spanish schoolteacher who drives to Andalusia’s Almeria to meet John Lennon, who is shooting a film there. Film scored the Cine Latino award at Palm Springs festival.

The Goya frontrunner going into the Awards, Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s comedy “Family United,” which won 11 nominations, went home with only best supporting actor (Roberto Alamo) and original song. Manuel Martin Cuenca’s “Cannibal,” with eight noms, won best d.p..

Gracia Querejeta’s “15 Years,” Spain’s Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts selection as its foreign-language Oscar entry, left empty-handed.

The most-protest-laden Goya since 2003’s “No to Iraq War,” edition, where winners’ condemnation of the U.S. invasion helped spark nationwide protests, 2014’s ceremony was laced by multiple references to the Spain’s film industry’s dire crisis. Criticism focused on Spain’s Minister of Culture, Jose Ignacio Wert, who did not attend the gala, arguing he had to attend a meeting in London on Monday.

Spanish filmmakers condemned a dramatic 8%-21% hike on cinema ticket sales taxes, which the ruling Popular Party put into place in July 2012 as part of its austerity measures.

“The decline in cinema theaters’ revenues due to the loss of spectators is estimated at €102 million ($85 million),” said Enrique Gonzalez Macho, prexy of the Spanish film Academy.

“That means that for every euro that the Treasury has raised through VAT, the film industry has lost two….To make a film today in our country is a heroic act,” he assevered.

2014 GOYA AWARDS

And the winners are:

FILM

“Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed” (David Trueba)

ACTRESS

Marian Alvarez , “Wounded”

ACTOR

Javier Camara, “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”

DIRECTOR

David Trueba, “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”

EUROPEAN FILM

“Amour,” Michael Haneke

FOREIGN SPANISH-LANGUAGE FILM

“Blue and Not So Pink,” Miguel Ferrari

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Terele Pavez, “Witching & Bitching”

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Roberto Alamo, “Family United”

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

David Trueba, “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Alejandro Hernandez, Mariano Barroso, “All the Women”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Pau Esteve Birba, “Cannibal”

ORIGINAL SCORE

Pat Metheny, “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”

FIRST-TIME DIRECTOR

Fernando Franco, “Wounded”

EDITING

Pablo Blanco, “Witching & Bitching”

LINE PRODUCTION

Carlos Bernases, “Witching & Bitching”

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, ACTOR

Javier Pereira, “Stockholm”

BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, ACTRESS

Natalia de Molina, “Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed”

LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM

“Abstenerse agencias,” Gaizka Urresti

ANIMATED SHORT FILM

“Strings,” Pedro Solis

DOCUMENTARY SHORT

“Minerita,”  Raul de la Fuente

COSTUME DESIGN

Francisco Delgado Lopez, “Witching & Bitching”

ART DIRECTION

Arturo Garcia, Jose Luis Arrizabalaga, “Witching & Bitching”

SOUND

Charly Schmukler, Nicolas de Poulpiquet, “Witching & Bitching”

MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN

Francisco J. Rodriguez Frias, Maria Dolores Gomez Castro, Javier Hernandez Valentin y Pedro Rodriguez, “Witching & Bitching”

SPECIAL EFFECTS

Ferran Piquer, Juan Ramon Molina, “Witching & Bitching”

ORIGINAL SONG

“Do You Really Want to Be in Love?,” Josh Rouse (“Family United”)

DOCUMENTARY

“Las maestras de la Republica”, Pilar Perez Solano

ANIMATED FEATURE

“Foosball,” Juan Jose Campanella

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT

Jaime de Arminan

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