Director Bigas Luna Seeks to Take Over Presidency of the Spanish Film Academy

Alex de la Iglesia recently announced his resignation in a spat with Spain's Culture Minister over the anti-download law.


MADRID -- Spanish director Bigas Luna has put himself forward as a candidate for the presidency of the Spanish Film Academy, replacing Alex de la Iglesia who announced his resignation in a public falling out with Spain's Culture Minister over the so-called anti-download law, according to Spanish daily El PaisTuesday.

"I think I can add interesting things. The academy is already a great instrument for promoting our culture, but my desire is that this promotion travels to Europe and the United States," Luna told El Pais.

Luna, who discovered both Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruzand cast them together in their first film, Jamon, Jamon, applauded De la Iglesia's two-year tenure atop the academy.

Luna's announcement comes at a difficult time for the academy, where many have refused to take the position. De la Iglesia's quit Jan. 25 in protest of the Sinde Law -- named after the Culture Minister, Angeles Gonzalez-Sinde. De la Iglesia agreed to stay until elections could be held within three months.

"If it's a hot potato, I'm going to peel it and eat it," Luna told El Pais. "I'm sure it's a quality potato, with a very strong staff, headquarters, a wonderful screening room, a huge potential for growing."

Luna was expected to finalize his candidature this week. The period for nominations is still open. The date for the elections has not been set.