Juan Antonio Bayona’s gripping portrayal of the Andes air tragedy in “The Society of Snow” dominates the Spanish cinema’s prestigious Goya Awards, capturing twelve wins. At the same time, Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi secures her inaugural Goya for the poignant documentary “The Infinite Memory.”
In a gala punctuated by displays of solidarity with women confronting violence and vocal critiques against the far-right, the event held in Valladolid crowned “The Society of Snow” as the undisputed victor, clinching twelve out of the thirteen awards it contended for.
The Andes Tragedy: A Spotlight on Spanish Cinema
The haunting narrative of the infamous ‘Andes tragedy’ resonates throughout the evening, courtesy of Bayona’s cinematic adaptation of Uruguayan author Pablo Vierci’s book. Nominated for an Oscar for Best International Feature Film, Bayona’s rendition masterfully captures the harrowing ordeal endured by the survivors.
While Bayona narrowly misses out on the accolade for Best Adapted Screenplay, his team’s triumphs include Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Cinematography, celebrating the artistry of Argentine Julio Suárez’s costume design and Uruguayan Pedro Luque’s evocative cinematography.
At just 22 years old, Argentine sensation Matías Recalt secures the Best New Actor award for his poignant portrayal of Roberto Canessa, one of the courageous survivors who embarked on a perilous journey through the treacherous mountains in search of salvation. In a poignant acceptance speech, Recalt pays tribute to the indomitable spirit of those who perished and urges solidarity against ultrarightist regimes.
Maite Alberdi’s Goya Triumph for Chile
In the category honoring the best Ibero-American film, Chilean filmmaker Maite Alberdi triumphs with her documentary “The Infinite Memory.” Marking her third Goya nomination, Alberdi’s victory underscores her commitment to humanistic storytelling and her adeptness at crafting narratives that resonate deeply with audiences.
“La Memoria Infinita,” surpassing contenders from Argentina, Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Portugal, intimately chronicles the poignant love story between journalist Augusto Góngora and actress-turned-Minister of Culture Paulina Urrutia amidst the ravages of Alzheimer’s disease. Alberdi’s win serves as a testament to the enduring power of storytelling to illuminate the human condition.
Advocacy and Activism: A Platform for Change
Pedro Almodóvar seizes the opportunity to advocate for continued support for cinema funding. At the same time, Estibaliz Urresola, recipient of the Best New Director award for “20,000 Species of Bees,” utilizes her platform to denounce sexual violence and amplify calls for societal change. Gala hosts Ana Belén, Javier Calvo, and Javier Ambrossi echo these sentiments, reaffirming their commitment to championing the rights of abuse victims and challenging structures of power and oppression.
In an evening marked by few surprises, “The Society of Snow” emerges as the frontrunner, sweeping the major categories as expected. David Verdaguer claims Best Actor for his compelling portrayal in “Saben aquell’ by David Trueba. At the same time, Malena Alterio secures Best Actress for her commanding performance in “Que nadie duerma” by Antonio Méndez Esparza. “Robot Dreams” by Pablo Berger clinches both Best Animated Film and Best Adapted Screenplay, underscoring the resilience and creativity of Spain’s cinematic landscape.
Bayona’s Tribute to Sigourney Weaver
A poignant highlight of the evening is Bayona’s heartfelt tribute to the legendary Sigourney Weaver, recipient of the International Goya Award. Weaver’s collaboration with Bayona on “A Monster Calls” is celebrated as a testament to the enduring power of artistic collaboration and cross-cultural exchange.