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

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

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

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Unlike the staid Bafta ceremony held in London earlier this evening, Feb. 13 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 Alex 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.)

Alex de la Iglesia: ‘Impassioned pro-Internet speech’

But the highlight of the evening was Alex 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. [Update: 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.

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise
Black Bread Nora NavasBlack Bread with Nora Navas: Best Actress Goya Award winner.

Goya Awards winners: ‘Black Bread’ tops

Whereas Alex 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.

Alex de la Iglesia Goya AwardsAlex de la Iglesia: Goya Awards.

Alex de la Iglesia Goya Awards speech: In defense of the Internet

Below is the English translation of a brief section of Alex de la Iglesia’s lengthy – and quite remarkable – speech at the 2011 Goya Awards ceremony.

As mentioned in my previous post, the director of The Last Circus and The Perfect Crime 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 quarter century ago a group of filmmakers set their differences aside to create the Spanish Academy at a time when the Spanish film industry faced a crisis as serious as the one facing it now.

Spanish Academy president Alex de la Iglesia farewell speech

The text below, translated via the site, is a condensed version of Alex de la Iglesia’s speech. The complete translation can be found 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.

Alex de la Iglesia Goya Awards image via El Pais.

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
Alex 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
Alex 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.

Bafta AwardBafta award.

Watch the BAFTA Awards

The 2011 British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards ceremony, often referred to as the BAFTA Awards or simply the Baftas (sometimes in caps, BAFTAs), is currently taking place in London.

Directed by Tom Hooper, and starring Colin Firth, Geoffrey Rush, Helena Bonham Carter, Guy Pearce, and veteran Claire Bloom, The King’s Speech will likely dominate this year’s awards. It has already won four Bafta statuettes, including somewhat surprising wins for Rush and Bonham Carter in the supporting categories.

Ramon Novarro biography Beyond Paradise

Hosted by Jonathan Ross, the 2011 Baftas will be broadcast (two-hour tape delay) from London’s Royal Opera House on BBC 1.

In the United States, you can watch the Bafta ceremony via BBC America beginning at 3 p.m. ET.

Watch the Spanish Academy Awards online

Today we’ve got the British Academy Awards, the American Society of Cinematographers Awards, and the Spanish Academy Awards a.k.a. the Goya Awards. You can watch the Goya Awards’ online live streaming from Madrid’s Teatro Real at (British Academy, why don’t you do the same next year instead of this absurd two-hour tape delay?)

Spain’s Sinde Law and the Wikileaks controversy

Protesters against Spain’s new anti-piracy law are outside the Teatro Real. Right-wingers in the United States may call Wikileaks a “terrorist” organization, but many around the world think otherwise.

Thanks to Wikileaks, Spaniards have discovered that their new anti-piracy law – a.k.a. the Sinde Law, as it was proposed by Minister of Culture Ángeles González Sinde – seems to be the result of pressure from the U.S. government, itself working as an agent for the Hollywood majors and top record labels. Many perceive the Sinde Law not as an attack on piracy, but as an attack on the Free Internet.

Javier Bardem, who defended the law in the Madrid daily El Pais, received some boos upon his red carpet arrival. But that was nothing compared to the chorus of boos and “Out! Out!” that greeted the Sinde Law author – or rather, front person.

Learn more about Spain’s Sinde Law.

Bafta award image: British Academy of Film & Television Arts.

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Cris -

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

Andre -

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


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