MADRID – “Truman,” Cesc Gay’s friendship dramedy, produced by Marta Esteban, topped Spain’s 30th Spanish Academy Goya Awards Saturday night sweeping picture, director, actor (Ricardo Darin), supporting actor (Camara), original screenplay (Gay and Tomas Aragay), kudos ceremony that lived up to its status as the widest open of recent years, spreading its plaudits widely.
Following on Darin and Camara’s joint best actor plaudit at September’s San Sebastian Festival, “Truman” was, when the big prizes finally went down, the Awards’ clear major winner. But predictions of a wide-open field proved true with the Spanish Academy’s 1,400 members spreading above and below-the-line plaudits widely.
Isabel Coixet’s Mediapro-produced 2015 Berlin Fest opener “Nobody Wants the Night,” a femme friendship drama starring Juliette Binoche as an intrepid and headstrong Josephine Perry, won four Goyas in all.
“A Perfect Day,” a Cannes Directors’ Fortnight conflict zone-set dramedy from Fernando Leon with Tim Robbins and Benicio del Toro, won adapted screenplay.
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In maybe the biggest surprise of the night – simpoly because the film is not very swell known – Natalia de Molina beat out Penelope Cruz and Juliette Binoche for her performance in Juan Miguel del Castillo’s “Food” (“Techo y Comida”), a hard-hitting single mother drama.
Daniel Guzman’s coming-of-age buddy movie, his first feature – in a year of notable debuts in Spain – and winner the 2015 Malaga Spanish Festival, snagged best first-time director.
Ceremony took place with four Oscar-winning actors in the audience: Javier Bardem (“No Country For Old Men”), Penelope Cruz, nominated for Julio Medem’s “Ma ma,” Juliette Binoche, also in the running, for Isabel Coixet’s “Nobody Wants the Night,” and Tim Robbins, up for best supporting actor for Fernando Leon’s “A Perfect Day.”
The Goyas’ star-presence gives some idea of the cosmopolitan reach of bigger Spanish movies, such as “Nobody” or “Day.”
The 30th Goya Awards caught the Spanish industry on a roll, having posted market shares of 25% in 2014 and 19% in 2015. But they also took place as the Spanish film industry faces, as over so much of his history, multiple uncertainties. One is who will govern Spain: Three presidential candidates were in the audience. Speaking to an audience that included Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem, M.C. Dani Rovira sparked one of the biggest applauses of the night when he lamented that, in December’s electoral debates, presidential candidates hardly ever mentioned culture.
Another is the impact of a new Film Law, published Dec. 23, which allots Spanish subsidies according to films’ perceived industry value: Box office, international sales, festival presence, the box office of their distributors in Spain, and TV presence. Naysayers fear such a system will destroy Spain’s middle-budgeted movies, reducing production ever more to tentpoles and tadpoles.
Argentine Pablo Trapero’s “The Clan” won best Ibero-America Picture, with El Deseo’s Esther Garcia accepted the award and stressing the importance of international co-production, one of the key motors of higher-end movies now coming out of Latin America.
And the winners are:
“Truman,” (Cesc Gay)
Daniel Guzman, (“A cambio de nada”)
Natalia de Molina, (“Food and Shelter”)
Ricardo Darin, (“Truman”)
Luisa Gavasa, (“The Bride”)
Javier Camara, (“Truman”)
“Mustang,” (Deniz Gamze Erguven, France, Turkey, Germany)
Cesc Gay, Tomas Aragay, (“Truman”)
Fernando Leon de Aranoa, (“A Perfect Day”)
Miguel Angel Amoedo, (“Bride”)
Lucas Vidal, (“Nobody Wants the Night”)
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, ACTOR
Miguel Herran, (“A cambio de nada”)
BREAKTHROUGH PERFORMANCE, ACTRESS
Irene Escolar, (“An Autumn Without Berlin”)
“Capture the Flag,” (Enrique Gato)
FOREIGN SPANISH-LANGUAGE FILM
“The Clan,” (Pablo Trapero, Argentina)
BEST FICTION SHORT
“The Runner,” (Jose Luis Montesinos)
“Dreams of Salt,” (Alfredo Navarro)
Jorge Coira, “Retribution”
Marta Miro, Andres Santana, (“Nobody”)
Clara Bilbao, (“Nobody”)
Anton Laguna, “Palm Trees in the Snow”
“Palm Trees in the Snow,” Lucas Vidal, Pablo Alboran (“Trees”)
David Machado, Jaime Fernandez, Nacho Arenas, (“Retribution”)
MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN
Sylvie Imbert, Paco Rodríguez H. Pablo Perona, “Nobody”
Lluis Rivera, (“Anacleto Secret Agent”)
LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
“El Corredor,” (Jose Luis Montesinos)
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
“Alike,” (Daniel Martinez Lara, Rafael Cano Mendez)
“Hijos de la tierra,” Axel O Mill Tubau, Patxi Uriz Domezain