Bayona’s “A Monster Calls” Wins Big at Spain’s Goya Awards

J.A. Bayona is celebrating a monster night…

The 41-year-old Spanish filmmaker took home the Best Director prize at the Spanish Film Academy’s Goya Awards ceremony over the weekend, while his film A Monster Calls proved to be the night’s big winner with nine awards.

J.A. Bayona

Bayona’s tale of a boy who faces his mother’s illness with the help of a monster had received 12 nominations.

Bayona, won the Best New Director award in 2008 for his name-making film The Orphanage, celebrated each award for A Monster Calls as if it were his first successful film, instead of the third in a highly acclaimed trilogy centering on the mother-child relationship. He dedicated his award to all who suffer from cancer and to his father, who taught him the transformative power of culture.

Meanwhile, Raul Arevalo’s directorial debut Fury of a Patient Man took the top award, Best Picture, while the 37-year-old Spanish filmmaker won the best new director and best original screenplay prizes.

Pedro Almodovar was on hand to celebrate his lead actress Emma Suarez’s special night, as she walked away with two Goya statuettes for her roles in his films Julieta and La Proxima Piel. But Almodovar, who will be the first Spaniard to chair the Cannes Film Festival jury in May, didn’t win in any of the six other categories in which his film competed.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Film
Fury of a Patient Man

Director
J.A. Bayona for A Monster Calls

New Director
Raul Arevalo for Fury of a Patient Man

Original Screenplay
David Pulido, Raul Arevalo for Fury of a Patient Man

Adapted Screenplay
Alberto Rodriguez, Rafael Cobos for Smoke and Mirrors

Original Score
Fernando Velazquez for A Monster Calls

Original Song
“Ai, Ai, Ai” by Silvia Perez Cruz for Cerca de tu Casa

Lead Actor
Roberto Alamo for May God Save Us

Lead Actress
Emma Suarez for Julieta

Supporting Actor
Manolo Solo for Fury of a Patient Man

Supporting Actress
Emma Suarez for La proxima piel

New Actor
Carlos Santos for Smoke and Mirrors

New Actress
Anna Castillo for El Olivo

Production Design
Sandra Hermida Muniz for A Monster Calls

Photography
Oscar Faura for A Monster Calls

Editing
Bernat Vilplana, Jaume Marti for A Monster Calls

Artistic Director
Eugenio Caballero for A Monster Calls

Wardrobe
Paola Torres for 1898. The End of the Philippines

Makeup and Hair
David Marti, Marese Langan for A Monster Calls

Sound
Marc Orts, Oriol Tarrago, Peter Glossop for A Monster Calls

Special Effects
Felix Berges, Pau Costa for A Monster Calls

Animated Feature
Psiconautas, los ninos olivdados

Documentary Feature
Fragil Equilibrio

Ibero-American Film
El Ciudadano Ilustre by Gaston Duprat, Mariano Cohn

European Film
Elle by Paul Verhoeven

Fiction Short
Timecode by Juanjo Giemenz Pena

Documentary Short
Cabezas Habladoras by Juan Vicente Cordoba

Animated Short
Decorado by Alberto Vazquez

Honorary Goya
Ana Belen

Rodriguez’s “Marshland” Acquired by Todo Cine Latino & AZ Films

Alberto Rodriguez’s latest film, one of Spain’s most recent blockbusters, is ready to conquer North America.

Todo Cine Latino, the specialty label of Paul Hudson’s Outsider Pictures, has teamed with Canada’s AZ Films to acquire the North America rights to La Isla Minima.

Marshland

The 44-year-old Spanish filmmaker’s fifth feature, titled Marshland in English is described as a noirish period cop thriller.

The film won 10 Spanish Film Academy Goya Awards, among them best picture, director and actor (for star Javier Gutierrez).

Produced by Atresmedia Cine, Sacromonte Films and Atipica Films, and a competition frontrunner at San Sebastian International Film Festival, where it world premiered on September 20, winning the jury prize and best actor (Gutierrez), Marshland went on to gross $8.4 million in Spain, a standout achievement for its distributor, Warner Bros. Entertainment España.

Marshland now figures with nine category recognitions as the leading contender for 2015’s Platino Awards, taking in movies from Spain, Latin America and Portugal, which takes place July 18 in Marbella.

Written by Rodriguez and his near-career-long co-scribe Rafael Cobos, and set in Spain’s deep South in 1980, Marshland begins in classic crime thriller style with two homicide detectives, one a Francoist hardliner, the other younger and more pliable with a bright future ahead of him in Madrid, being called in to investigate the disappearance of two teen girls on Seville’s flatlands, a sprawling marsh expanse of stunning natural beauty and base poverty ruled by a few families certainly not willing to give up their centuries-old power and privileges – economic, social or of droit du seigneur.

Marshland impressed for its stunning, often kinetic, and varied cinematography: It’s made up of some 170 sequences, some multi-shot, some not. It also won critical plaudits for the interplay between the two cops who realize that they must put aside their personal differences if they’re to stop a serial killer, and the shaded balance of its portrait of one, played by Gutierrez. Capable of absolute heroism, he also tortured suspects under Franco and will never be hauled up in court for that.

Marshland has been compared to everything from the first season of True Detective to Seven, and is a first class thriller, and the Goya Awards are a testament to the quality of the filmmaking,” said Hudson.

Todo Cine Latino will look to build word-of-mouth via festivals; AZ Films will release the film in Canada on August 14, while Outsider will release in the U.S. on August 21 in Miami, where “Marshland” had its U.S. premiere in March at the Miami Film Festival.

Marshland will then be released on digital streaming site Todocinelatino.com, which is dedicated to the release of the best in Latin Cinema in North America.

Banderas to Receive Honorary Goya Award for His “Stellar Career”

Antonio Banderas has earned an extra special prize…

The Spanish Film Academy will honor the 54-year-old Spanish actor with an honorary Goya Award for the organization calls a “stellar career on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Antonio Banderas

The academy’s board of directors unanimously voted to honor Banderas for having “developed a versatile trajectory as an actor, have shown his own point of view as a director and having immersed himself in the role of producer to support national values.”

Calling him a hometown-Malaga boy “without borders,” the academy applauded his career punctuated by “risks and commitment.”

Banderas rose to acclaim in some of the most exemplary roles in Pedro Almodovar’s earlier works like Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down, Labyrinth of Passion, Matador, Law of Desire and Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.

But he also forged a successful career in Hollywood with films like Zorro, Shrek, Philadelphia, Desperados and Interview with a Vampire.

Banderas, who has directed the films Crazy in Alabama and Summer Rain, recently returned to Spain with his latest Spanish project, the apocalyptic science fiction Automata, which he presented at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Banderas is currently filming Hugh Hudson’s The Master of Altamira alongside Rupert Everett and Golshifteh Farahani.

Banderas’ special presentation will take place next February at Spain’s premiere film gala in Madrid.

Garcia Abril Receives the Spanish Film Academy’s Gold Medal

Anton Garcia Abril is a gold medalist

The 81-year-old Spanish composer has won this year’s Gold Medal, awarded annually by the Spanish Film Academy.

Anton Garcia Abril

“I’m very happy about this prize,” Garcia Abril said. “As long as I’m physically able, I will keep working. It’s hard for me to choose one musical style over another because I’ve always tried to give my all in each one.”

Garcia Abril — who worked with Spanish directors Mario Camus, Pilar Miro and Antonio Isasi, among others — is presently working on a project for the Granada Film Festival that includes seven songs and will be made public in September.

He has composed music for movies and television series, including El Hombre y la Tierra, Fortunata y Jacinta, Anillos de oro, El perro, Segunda ensenanza, Brigada Central, Ramon y Cajal, and Compuesta y sin novio.

Garcia Abril receive his award at a special gala ceremony in October.

Pablo Berger’s “Blancanieves” Wins Big at the Goya Awards

Pablo Berger’s Blancanieves has proven to be the belle of the ball at this year’s Goya Awards…

The 49-year-old Spanish director’s silent, black-and-white film, a retelling of the Snow White story, earned 10 statues, including the top prize for Best Film, at the Spanish Film Academy‘s annual awards show, Spain’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.

Blancanieves

Maribel Verdu, who said she’s “grown to enjoy playing the bad guy,” won her second Goya for her role as the evil stepmother in Blancanieves. The 42-year-old Spanish actress edged out Naomi Watts, Penélope Cruz and Aida Folch for the award.

Blancanieves’ re-imagined Snow White, Macarena Garcia, was named New Actress. It’s the 24-year-old Spanish actress’ first starring role.

Paco Delagado, currently nominated for an Oscar for his costume design work for Les Miserables, won the Goya for his work on Blancanieves, which included the creation of 18 different costumes for Verdu’s character.

Meanwhile, Juan Antonio Bayona’s dramatic The Impossible, which has broken box office records in Spain, scored five awards, including the Goya for Best Director.

Bayona brought down the house when he left the stage after receiving his Goya to present it to Maria Belon, the mother of the real-life family that survived the 2004 tsunami upon which the film is based.

Here’s the complete list of winners:

Film
Blancanieves

Director
Juan Antonio Bayona for The Impossible

Actor
Jose Sacristan for The Dead Man and Being Happy

Actress
Maribel Verdu for Blancanieves

Original Screenplay
Pablo Berger for Blancanieves

Adapted Screenplay
Javier Barreira, Gorka Magallon, Ignacio del Moral, Jordi Gasull and Neil Landau for Tad, the Lost Explorer

Supporting Actor
Julian Villagran for Grupo 7

Supporting Actress
Candela Pena for Una Pistola en Cada Mano

Honorary Goya
Concha Velasco

Production Design
Sandra Hermida Muniz for The Impossible

Artistic Director
Alain Bainee For Blancanieves

Photography
Kiko de la Rica for Blancanieves

Special Effects
Pau Costa and Felix Berges for The Impossible

Wardrobe
Paco Delgado for Blancanieves

Editing
Bernat Vilaplano and Elena Ruiz for The Impossible

Sound
Peter Glossop, Marc Orts, Oriol Tarrago for The Impossible

Original Score
Alfonso Villalonga for Blancanieves

Original Song
No Te Puedo Encontrar from Blancanieves

New Actor
Joaquin Nunez for Grupo 7

Makeup and Hair
Sylvie Imbert and Fermin Galan for Blancanieves

New Actress
Macarena Garcia for Blancanieves

New Director
Enrique Gato for Tad, the Lost Explorer

Animated Feature Film
The Adventures of Tadeo Jones

Documentary Film
Sons of the Clouds, The Last Colony

European Film
Untouchable (France)

Ibero-American Film
Juan de los Muertos (Cuba)

Animated Short
Jaime Maestro for El Vendedor de Humo

Fiction Short
Esteban Crespo Garcia for Aquel no Era Yo

Documentary Short
Sergio Oksman for A Story for the Modlins

“Blancanieves” Earns 18 Goya Award Nominations

Pablo Berger‘s silent black-and-white reinterpretation of the Snow White fable, Blancanieves, is this awards season’s Goya darling.  

The 49-year-old Spanish director’s film, hailed as an homage to 1920s European silent films, leads the pack with 18 nominations for the Spanish Film Academy‘s Goya Awards, Spain’s equivalent to the Oscars.

Blancanieves

Blancanieves, which recently debuted in the U.S. at the Palm Springs International Film Festival, received nominations in the best picture, best director, best original screenplay and best editing, best original music and best original song categories.

In addition, six of the films stars earned nods, including Maribel Verdú in the Best Actress category, Daniel Giménez Cacho in the Best Actor field and Macarena García in the Best Actress Revelation category.

“We are very, very happy. We ran for 18 possible nominations and we got 18,” said Blancanieves producer Ibon Cormenzana. “We’ve sold to many territories and in two weeks we’ll release in theaters in France. I think we’ve benefited from the success of the The Artist.”

Meanwhile, Alberto Rodriguez’s Unit 7 earned 16 nominations, Juan Antonio Bayona’s The Impossible received 14 nods and Fernando Trueba’s The Artist and The Model picked up 13 nominations.

The Impossible’s Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor will compete for lead actress and supporting actor thanks to a change in the Spanish Academy’s rules that allows non-Spanish speaking actors who participate in Spanish productions to compete for acting honors. That translates to Watts vying for the lead acting nod against Verdu’s evil step-mother from Blancanieves, Penelope Cruz from Volver a nacer and Aida Folch‘s muse-like performance in The Artist and the Model.

Blancanieves’ Cacho, Model’s Jean Rochefort, Unit’s Antonio de la Torre and veteran actor Jose Sacristan from The Dead Man and Being Happy will compete for the lead actor statue.

In Spain, Bayona’s film has broken box office records, where it is just about to hit the 42 million euro mark at the box office.

“Our objective is to sell more than 6 million tickets,” said Impossible producer Ghislain Barrois.

The Spanish academy will dole out the awards on February 17 at a gala ceremony in Madrid.