Pilar Palomero’s “The Girls,” a coming-of-age story and generational portrait of Spanish women who would now be in their 40s, swept an extraordinary 35th edition of Spain’s Goya Awards on Saturday, scooping best picture, new director, original screenplay and cinematography.
Salvador Calvo won best director for the three-part, Africa-set drama “Adú,” a Netflix pick-up produced by Telecinco Cinema, Ikiru Films and La Terraza Films which proved one of Spain’s biggest box office hits of last year, earning €6.3 million ($7.6 million) at the Spanish box office, promoted to the hilt by Telecinco Cinema parent Mediaset España.
Marking a milestone in his transition from Spanish heartthrob to character actor, Mario Casas won best actor for “No Matarás.” Patricia López Arnaíz (“While at War,” “The Plague”) took best actress for her role in “Ane is Missing” as a mother coming belatedly of age as she searches for her missing teen daughter who, she realizes, she knows very little about.
In a hybrid on-site/virual ceremony – with no audience nor nominees atteding in person – the 35th Goya Awards were televised from the Teatro del Soho CaixaBank in Málaga southern Spain. M.C. Antonio Banderas, a Malaga native, called on audiences to use lockdown to reflect on how cinema can serve its society.
The event enjoyed large star support – Pedro Almódovar, Penélope Cruz, Paz Vega, J.A. Bayona, and Alejandro Amenábar collectively presented Goyas for costume design, hair and make-up, sound, VFX and line production.
The hybrid, non-audience on-site format also gave the Goyas a larger reach. Among celebrities sending pre-recorded messages of support to the Awards were Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Dustin Hoffman, Helen Mirren, Charlize Theron, Isabelle Huppert, Monica Bellucci, Salma Hayek, Sylvester Stallone, Benicio del Toro, Emma Thompson, Ricardo Darín and Laura Dern.
Gender issues feature strongly in two of the best picture nominees – “The Girls” and Iciar Bollaín’s “Rosa’s Wedding” – and threaded acceptance speeches. Women won out almost as much as men, taking 12 categories to men’s 13 with three prizes shared.
Premiering at the 2020’s Berlinale’s Generation Kplus, “The Girls” is a banner title of a new – and often women-driven – Catalan cinema. 41% of nominees were women, Spanish Academy president Mariano Barroso said on stage. “The Girls’” Daniela Cajías became the first woman DP to win a best cinematography Goya.
2021’s Honorary Goya went to Angela Molina, co-star of Luis Buñuel’s last film “The Obscure Object of Desire” and Jaime Chavarri’s “Las cosa del querer.”
“When they’re stripped naked, woman are stripped of rights,” said Mabel Lozano, accepting a Goya for documentary short, “Biografía del cadáver de una mujer.”
Trap singer-songwriter Nathy Peluso appeared on stage to sing and very well – a classic operetta lyric “Las Peluqueras,”
In a thought-through ceremony, nominees watched on from a spectacular video screen of individual Zoom-like connections – which gave the ceremony an surprising intimacy and moments of high comedy as winners accepted from their own homes, applauded or kissed or mobbed by on-screen families or crews in camera-rocking jubilation.
In further awards, Colombia’s submission to the International Feature Film Oscar, Fernando Trueba’s “Memories of My Father,” a portrait of Colombian public health system pioneer Hector Abad Gomez as well as a father-son relationshiip drama, took a hard-fought best Ibero-American feature Goya.
2021 35th GOYA AWARDS
And the winners are:
“The Girls,” (Pilar Palomero)
Salvador Calvo, (“Adú”)
Pilar Palomero, (“Las niñas”)
Patricia López Arnaiz, (“Ane”)
Mario Casas, (“No matarás”)
Nathalie Poza (“Rosa’s Wedding”)
Alberto San Juan, (“Sentimental”)
Pilar Palomero (“The Girls”)
David Pérez Sañudo, Marina Parés Pulido (“Ane”)
Daniela Cajías (“The Girls”)
Aránzazu Calleja, Maite Arroitajauregi (“Akelarre”)
“Que no, que no,” (María Rozalén for “Rosa’s Wedding”)
Adam Nourou, (“Adú”)
Jone Laspiur, (“Ane”)
“Turu, the Wacky Hen,” (Eduardo Gondell, Víctor Monigote)
“Forgotten We’ll Be,” (Fernando Trueba, Colombia)
“The Father,” (Florian Zeller, U.K., France)
“The Year of the Discovery,” (Luis López Carrasco)
LIVE-ACTION SHORT FILM
“A la cara,” (Javier Marco)
ANIMATED SHORT FILM
“Blue & Malone: Casos imposibles,” (Abraham López Guerrero)
“Biography of a Woman’s Corpse,” (Mabel Lozano
Sergio Jiménez, (“The Year of the Discovery”)
Ana Parra, Luis Fernández Lago (“Adú”)
Nerea Torrijos, (“Akelarre”)
Mikel Serrano (“Akelarre”)
Eduardo Esquide, Jamaica Ruíz García, Juan Ferro, Nicolas de Poulpiquet (“Adú”)
MAKEUP AND HAIR DESIGN
Beata Wotjowicz, Ricardo Molina (“Akelarre”)
Mariano García Marty, Ana Rubio, (“Akelarre”)