Academy President Álex de la Iglesia vs. Anti-Piracy Sinde Law: Goya Awards

Álex de la Iglesia
Álex de la Iglesia

Unlike the staid BAFTA ceremony held in London earlier this evening, the Spanish Academy's 25th Goya Awards ceremony held at Madrid's Teatro Real was anything but.

In fact, the excitement began days before the ceremony, when Spanish Academy president Álex de la Iglesia, whose A Sad Trumpet Ballad was in the running with fifteen nominations, including Best Film and Best Director, announced he would step down the day after the ceremony. De la Iglesia was irked by former Spanish Academy president and current minister of culture Ángeles González-Sinde, whose anti-piracy law has been seen by many as a direct attack on Internet neutrality and a response to American pressure (according to WikiLeaks cables).

While celebrities were walking the red carpet outside the Teatro Real, protesters greeted González-Sinde with loud boos. Eventual Best Actor winner Javier Bardem (for Biutiful) also received his share of boos after having defended the Sinde Law in the Madrid daily El Pais. Some went as far as throwing eggs at the arrivals.

Although at the ceremony itself most winners thanked their co-workers, companions, and mothers, some made political statements as well.

Uruguayan-born singer-composer Jorge Drexler sang his acceptance speech for Pole's “Que el soneto nos tome por sorpresa” as he had done after winning the Oscar for The Motorcycle Diaries' “Al Otro Lado del Río.” Through his Goya ditty, Drexler said he was not “going to ask forgiveness for earning his living through his songs, no matter how many eggs are thrown at him.”

At the end of his interminable speech, Honorary Goya winner Mario Camus, the director of classics such as La colmena and The Holy Innocents / Los santos inocentes, talked about “protecting the cinema,” a clear allusion to illegal downloads. (Ironically, many of Camus' movies can't be found [legally] on DVD.)

But the highlight of the evening was de la Iglesia's impassioned pro-Internet speech while listening stone-faced in the audience were González-Sinde and Even the Rain director Icíar Bollaín, with whom de la Iglesia had a recent well-publicized falling out. Considering de la Iglesia's stance, perhaps it was no coincidence that A Sad Trumpet Ballad ended up winning a mere two of its 15 Goya nominations: Best Make-Up and Hair and Best Visual Effects.

And that wasn't all.

Lola Duenas, Jimmy JumpLater on, the Goya ceremony was interrupted right when the Best Actor winner was going to be announced. Infamous Catalan party crasher Jaume Marquet, aka Jimmy Jump, unexpectedly popped up onstage, covered the Best Actor Goya statuette with what looked like a Santa Claus hat, and was whisked away by security after saying a couple of words on the microphone. Following that stunt, Javier Bardem's acceptance speech felt quite anticlimactic. [Addendum: That was no Santa Claus hat. It was a barretina, a typical Catalonian hat. See comment below.]

Below is the English translation of a brief section of Álex de la Iglesia's lengthy – and really, quite remarkable – speech at the 25th Goya Awards ceremony held earlier this evening at the Teatro Real in Madrid.

As mentioned in my previous post, de la Iglesia will be stepping down as president of the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences following disagreements over an anti-piracy law that has pitted sections of the Spanish government and the Spanish Academy against those who see the law as an attack on the Internet itself.

De la Iglesia began his speech by reminding the crowd at the Teatro Real that they were there because a group of filmmakers joined forces – despite their differences – to create the Spanish Academy a quarter century ago, when the Spanish film industry faced a crisis as serious as the one facing it now.

Note: The text below was translated from the site publico.es. It reads like a condensed version of de la Iglesia's speech; in other words, it's not a full transcript. [Full translation at the Spanish Cinema blog Nobody Knows Anybody.]

“Twenty-five years ago, no one in our industry could have imagined that something like the Internet would have revolutionized our industry. The Internet isn't the future; it's the present and the way for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy movies and culture. The Internet is the salvation of our cinema.”

“Web surfers don't like to be called that; they're actually people, the public. The public that we have lost because they don't go to the movies anymore because they spend their time sitting in front of a computer screen. Change is needed to come up with a new model for the film business. We have a moral responsibility to the public. We make movies because citizens allow us to make them and we owe them respect and our thank you.”

“I want to say goodbye in my last ceremony as president by reminding those present and the nominees that there's nothing better than to be free to create. We must be up to this privilege that society offers us. If we want them to respect us, we must respect them first. I want to say something to the next president of the Academy – and I don't know yet who that is: these have been the happiest two years of my life. I've looked at problems through other points of view and what's more important, my friends: twenty-five very good years have passed; but many more await us and I'm sure that they'll be the best.”

Francesc Colomer, Black Bread
Francesc Colomer in Agustí Villaronga's Black Bread

Whereas Álex de la Iglesia's A Sad Trumpet Ballad won only two – Best Visual Effects and Best Make-Up and Hair – of its fifteen Goya 2011 nominations, Agustí Villaronga's Pa negre / Black Bread won nine of its fourteen nods, among them Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (also Villaronga), and Best Actress (Nora Navas).

Based on a novel by Emili Teixidor, the Catalan-spoken family drama is set in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Most Promising Actor Francesc Colomer plays an 11-year-old whose family life has been deeply scarred by the war. Black Bread also earned Laia Marull the Best Supporting Actress Goya.

Javier Bardem picked up his fifth Goya – fourth in the Best Actor category – this time for his Oscar-nominated performance as a dying con man in Alejandro González Iñárritu's Biutiful.

Karra Elejalde was the Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of an actor essaying the role of Christopher Columbus in Icíar Bollaín's Bolivian-set Even the Rain, which also earned awards for composer Alberto Iglesias and for the film's executive/line producer (a category that doesn't exist at the Oscars.)

Chris Sparling Oscar e-mail pushing his claustrophobic drama Buried didn't bear any fruit, but the screenwriter did win a Goya for Best Original Screenplay. Buried also won Goyas for Best Editing (Rodrigo Cortés, also a nominee for Best Director) and Best Sound.

Also of note at the ceremony, presenter Rossy de Palma paid homage to recently deceased actress Maria Schneider, declaring that the film world failed to treat Schneider with the appropriate respect.

A Sad Trumpet Ballad, Álex de la Iglesia
Álex de la Iglesia's A Sad Trumpet Ballad

Best Film
Balada triste de trompeta / A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Buried
* Pan negro / Black Bread
También la lluvia / Even the Rain

Best Spanish-Language Foreign Film
Contracorriente / Undertow (Peru)
El hombre de al lado (Argentina)
El infierno (México)
* La vida de los peces (Chile)

Best European Film
* The King's Speech (UK)
The Ghost Writer (France)
The White Ribbon (Germany)
A Prophet (France)

Best Director
Álex de la Iglesia for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Rodrigo Cortés for Buried
* Agustí Villaronga for Black Bread
Iciar Bollaín for Even the Rain

Best Actress
Elena Anaya for Room in Rome
Emma Suárez for La mosquitera
Belén Rueda for Los ojos de Julia / Julia's Eyes
* Nora Navas for Black Bread

Best Actor
Antonio de la Torre for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
* Javier Bardem for Biutiful
Ryan Reynolds for Buried
Luis Tosar for Even the Rain

Best Supporting Actress
Terele Pávez for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Ana Wagener for Biutiful
Pilar López de Ayala for Lope
* Laia Marull for Black Bread

Best Supporting Actor
Eduard Fernández for Biutiful
Alex Angulo for El gran Vázquez
Sergi López for Black Bread
* Karra Elejalde for Even the Rain

Best Female Newcomer
Carolina Bang for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Natasha Yarovenko for Habitación en Roma / Room in Rome
* Marina Comas for Black Bread
Aura Garrido for Planes para mañana

Best Male Newcomer
Manuel Camacho for Entrelobos
* Francesc Colomer for Black Bread
Juan Carlos Aduviri for Even the Rain
Oriol Vila for Todas las canciones hablan de mí

Best New Director
* David Pinillos for Bon Appétit
Emilio Aragón for Pájaros de papel / Paper Birds
Juana Macías for Planes para mañana
Jonás Trueba for Todas las canciones hablan de mí

Best Original Screenplay
Álex de la Iglesia for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Nicolás Giacobone, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Armando Bo for Biutiful
* Chris Sparling for Buried
Paul Laverty for Even the Rain

Best Adapted Screenplay
Jordi Cadena for Elisa K
Julio Medem for Room in Rome
* Agustí Villaronga for Black Bread
Ramón Salazar for 3 metros sobre el cielo

Best Animated Feature
* Chico and Rita
El tesoro del Rey Midas
La Tropa de Trapo
Las aventuras de Don Quijote

Best Documentary Feature
* Bicicleta, cuchara, manzana
Ciudadano Negrín
How Much does Your Building Weigh, Mr. Foster?
María y yo

Best Cinematography
Kiko de la Rica for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Rodrigo Prieto for Biutiful
Eduard Grau for Buried
* Antonio Riestra for Black Bread

Best Editing
Alejandro Lázaro for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Stephen Mirrione for Biutiful
* Rodrigo Cortés for Buried
Ángel Hernández Zoido for Even the Rain

Best Score
Roque Baños for A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Gustavo Santaolalla for Biutiful
Víctor Reyes for Buried
* Alberto Iglesias for Even the Rain

Best Song
Buried (“In the Lap of the Mountain”)
Room in Rome (“Loving Strangers”)
* Lope (“Que el soneto nos tome for sorpresa”)
Paper Birds (“No se puede vivir con un franco”)

Best Art Direction
A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Biutiful
Lope
* Black Bread

Best Costume Design
A Sad Trumpet Ballad
* Lope
Black Bread
Even the Rain

Best Special Effects
* A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Buried
Lope
Even the Rain

Best Make-Up and Hair
* A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Lope
Black Bread
Even the Rain

Best Sound
A Sad Trumpet Ballad
* Buried
Black Bread
Even the Rain

Mejor Executive/Line Producer
A Sad Trumpet Ballad
Lope
Black Bread
* Even the Rain

Photo: publico.es

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