The Goya Awards gala, which took place in Valladolid and concluded on Sunday, February 11, was a long affair, spanning over three and a half hours. Unlike previous ceremonies, this one had little in the way of political recriminations. One of the notable moments was a comment from Pedro Almodóvar directed at Vox. The ceremony also tackled some important issues such as the survival of movie theaters and the growing significance of digital platforms.
Controversies surrounding sexual violence accusations against filmmaker Carlos Vermut dominated the weeks leading up to the awards. Given these circumstances, it was anticipated that the gala would address this issue, which indeed proved to be the case. The presenters, Los Javis and Ana Belén, had hinted at a script change to accommodate this focus.
At the commencement of the ceremony, the hosts delivered a powerful speech against sexual violence. They offered assurance to the victims that they were not alone and that the film industry was also committed to ending such violence.
The president of the institution, Fernando Méndez-Leite, expressed his support for this stance in his traditional speech. He made it clear that his institution condemns any form of abuse or violence against women, while also upholding the freedom of thought and expression in all areas of the sector.
Moreover, the vice president of the Film Academy, Susi Sánchez, who is also a member of the Association of Women Filmmakers (CIMA), called for equality to be the norm, not the exception. She condemned the abuse of power and violence against women.
The ceremony included a touching ‘In memoriam’ tribute which remembered actresses Concha Velasco, Itziar Castro, María Jiménez and Carmen Sevilla. The tribute featured performances from singer Silvia Pérez and Salvador Sobral.
PALESTINE AND RESPONSE TO VOX
While political messages were not a major part of the gala, there were some notable exceptions. Actress and singer Alba Flores made a statement against the war in Gaza and the attacks on Palestine. Other attendees like David Trueba, Nathalie Poza and Estíbaliz Urresola also showed their support by wearing similar badges.
Close to the end of the ceremony, filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar responded to negative comments about the Spanish cinema industry from Juan García-Gallardo, vice president of Castilla y León.
ROOMS VS. PLATFORMS
The gala also featured a debate on the survival of movie theaters in the face of the rise of digital platforms. Directors and Méndez-Leite himself participated in this discussion. The Goya award for Best Director went to Bayona for ‘The Snow Society’, who thanked Netflix for their support, stating that without them, his film would not have been possible.
SIGOURNEY WEAVER AND HER DUBBING DUBBER
The ceremony also featured several poignant moments, such as the presentation of the International Goya to actress Sigourney Weaver, who remembered her Spanish voice actor, María López. The gala also marked the 25th anniversary of ‘All About My Mother’ and the tenth anniversary of ‘Eight Basque Surnames’.
The musical highlights of the event included performances by Amaia and David Bisbal, who each gave their own rendition of Raphael’s song ‘Mi gran noche’. Other performers included Niña Pastori, India Martínez and María José Llergó, who performed ‘It’s over’. Presenters Los Javis and Ana Belén also paid tribute to Concha Velasco with renditions of ‘Mom, I want to be an artist’ and ‘Chica ye-yé’.