The latest nominations for the Goya have certified something that we already knew for a long time, and that is the prizes are divided between a few films So what the rest are left without any kind of recognition even though they deserve it. There is a type of Spanish cinema that continues to be invisible, that the Goya do not see, or what is the same, that academics do not see, both literally and figuratively. They may not be interested, that their tastes are conditioned, that there is greater pressure from the large distributors, that there are vetoes, that they vote for cronyism. But the point is that those films are not, they are not represented, as if they did not exist.
After a year marked by the pandemic, we have witnessed an especially close premiere season. Since the beginning of September, two or three Spanish films have accumulated on the billboard and have had to compete with each other for audiences every week. We have returned to pre-covid times, but with the difference that the rooms are much emptier and the collection has suffered dramatically.
However, the fight to gain a place in the nominations for the Academy Awards began long ago, as if it were a parallel and quite bloody process. Since the summer there have been special screenings of the most important films, which coincidentally correspond to those that have a greater economic muscle behind. The rest of the titles have gone unnoticed, despite the fact that members have at their disposal an online viewing platform. Do you see those movies, those 160 movies? Are they valued in line with your artistic achievements?
The diversity this year in the nominations for the Goya awards has been nil. It seems that it was voted automatically without taking into account the virtues in the different categories of other titles. There are several glaring examples in this regard. One of them is ‘Six running days’, by Neus Ballús, which performed at the Locarno Film Festival and won the Performance Award for its Non-Professional Actors; it went through the Valladolid Festival, where it reached the Silver Spike and won the Audience Award, an unequivocal sign that it is a film that connects with viewers in a very special way. Number of nominations for the Goya? Zero.
‘Sacred Spirit’, by Chema García IbarraIt was also presented at Locarno, where it received a special mention from the jury, and at the prestigious Mar de Plata festival, where it has also been awarded. Number of nominations? Zero. Indeed, it is a special film that is totally far from the standards and that connects with a type of cinema where risk, inventiveness and author personality go hand in hand, characteristics that do not seem to fit the profile of Spanish academics. Conservatism of products conforming to certain molds is preferred. Leaving them is a condemnation, that of belonging to the margins of the industry, where in return, at least, there is freedom and a combative spirit, there is true creation and not a mere fabrication.
In that sense, neither was the multi-award winner at the Malaga Festival ‘The ventre of the sea’ It has found its niche, only in the category of best adapted script, precisely because it is everything unconventional that can be expected from the best Agustí Villaronga. If last year the range of non-fiction proposals was opened a little thanks to ‘The year of discovery’, by Luis López Carrasco (because there were fewer titles competing for the same piece of cake), this year the doors have been closed to Jonás Trueba and his monumental ‘Who prevents it’, only present in best documentary, although it exceeds the limits of that category that has become obsolete.
The new generations are also not present this year at the Goya, young cinema is already old. The relay that in other editions seemed to be evident has stalled, and only Clara Roquet, with ‘Libertad’, has managed to reaffirm herself within this old scene. Of course, there is no trace of more radical proposals such as ‘Destello bravío’, by Ainhoa Rodríguez, while the two nominations for ‘Tres’, by Juanjo Giménez, one of the most original films of recent times, know very little.
Thus, the most conventional films have found their way into one category and the other as well. The same as always, only that, in a year like this, so rich, so varied in terms of proposals, it is a pity that it seems that in our cinematography only four or five films have been made.