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Goya Awards Polemic: Álex de la Iglesia vs. Anti-Piracy Sinde Law, Party Crasher

Alex de la Iglesia Premios GoyaÁlex de la Iglesia: Premios Goya ceremony.

A Goya Awards ceremony to remember: Anti-piracy law controversy, party crasher

Unlike the staid Bafta ceremony held in London earlier this evening, Feb. 13, '11, the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 25th Goya Awards ceremony, which took place at Madrid's Teatro Real, was anything but. (See full list of 2011 Goya Award winners and nominees further below.)

In fact, the excitement began days before the ceremony, when Spanish Academy president Álex de la Iglesia, whose The Last Circus / Balada triste de trompeta was in the running for 15 Goya Awards, including Best Film and Best Director, announced he would step down the day after the Goyas.

De la Iglesia was irked by former Spanish Academy president and current minister of culture Ángeles González-Sinde, whose anti-online piracy law is perceived by many as a direct attack on net neutrality and a subservient response to American pressure (as found in 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.

'Gracias, Mamá' and political statements: Jorge Drexler, Mario Camus

At the ceremony itself, most winners thanked their coworkers, companions, and mothers. But some made political statements as well.

Uruguayan-born singer-composer Jorge Drexler sang his Goya 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 made it clear he was not “going to ask forgiveness for earning my living through my singing, no matter how many eggs are thrown at me.”

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.)

Álex de la Iglesia: 'Impassioned pro-Internet speech'

But the highlight of the evening was Álex 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 The Last Circus 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.

Jimmy Jump crashes the Goya Awards ceremony.

Catalan party crasher and Maria Schneider homage

Later on, the Goya Awards ceremony was interrupted right when the Best Actor winner was going to be announced. Infamous Catalan party crasher Jaume Marquet, a.k.a. 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 few 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 comments section further below.]

Also of note, presenter Rossy de Palma (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Kika) paid homage to the recently deceased French actress Maria Schneider, declaring that the film world failed to treat the Last Tango in Paris leading lady with the appropriate respect.

Black Bread Nora Navas'Black Bread' with Nora Navas: Best Actress Goya Award winner.

Goya Awards 2011 winners: 'Black Bread' tops

Whereas Álex de la Iglesia's The Last Circus won only two of its 15 Goya Award nominations, Agustí Villaronga's Black Bread / Pa negre won nine of its 14 nods, among them Best Film, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay (also Villaronga), Best Actress (Nora Navas), and Best Supporting Actress (Laia Marull).

Based on a novel by Emili Teixidor, the Catalan-spoken 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.

Javier Bardem: Five Goya Awards

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 / También la lluvia, 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's Oscar email pushing his claustrophobic, wooden-coffin-in-Iraq-set drama Buried didn't bear any fruit, but the screenwriter did win a Goya for Best Original Screenplay. Starring U.S. actor Ryan Reynolds, Buried also won Goyas for Best Editing (Rodrigo Cortés, also a nominee for Best Director) and Best Sound.

Javier Bardem in 'Biutiful' trailer: Best Actor Goya Award winner.

2011 Goya Awards: Winners and nominations

Best Film
Balada triste de trompeta / The Last Circus.
* Pa negre / 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 (Mexico).
* 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 The Last Circus.
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 The Last Circus.
* Javier Bardem for Biutiful.
Ryan Reynolds for Buried.
Luis Tosar for Even the Rain.

Best Supporting Actress
Terele Pávez for The Last Circus.
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 The Last Circus.
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 The Last Circus.
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 Cinematography
Kiko de la Rica for The Last Circus.
Rodrigo Prieto for Biutiful.
Eduard Grau for Buried.
* Antonio Riestra for Black Bread.

Best Editing
Alejandro Lázaro for The Last Circus.
Stephen Mirrione for Biutiful.
* Rodrigo Cortés for Buried.
Ángel Hernández Zoido for Even the Rain.

Best Score
Roque Baños for The Last Circus.
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 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 Art Direction
The Last Circus.
* Black Bread.

Best Costume Design
The Last Circus.
* Lope.
Black Bread.
Even the Rain.

Best Special Effects
* The Last Circus.
Even the Rain.

Best Make-Up and Hair
* The Last Circus.
Black Bread.
Even the Rain.

Best Sound
The Last Circus.
* Buried.
Black Bread.
Even the Rain.

Best Executive / Line Producer
The Last Circus.
Black Bread.
* Even the Rain.


Nora Navas Black Bread image: Massa d'Or Produccions.

Javier Bardem Biutiful trailer: LD Entertainment.

Note: Although Alt Film Guide avoids linking to the frequently unreliable Wikipedia, its Sinde Law page offers the most comprehensive history that I could find about Spain's controversial anti-online piracy law.

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2 Comments to Goya Awards Polemic: Álex de la Iglesia vs. Anti-Piracy Sinde Law, Party Crasher

  1. Andre

    Thanks Cris. I kept thinking, “Why Santa Claus…??”

  2. It´s not a Santa Claus hat, it´s a barretina, a typical hat from Catalonia (Spain).
    Great article!