'Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed' Tops Spain's Goya Awards

"Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed"

The movie was named best picture, while David Trueba took home the prize for best director.

MADRID – David Trueba’s Living is Easy With Eyes Closed was the big winner at the 28th Goya Awards ceremony, landing the Spanish Film Academy’s two top prizes -- best film and best director -- on Sunday night.

Trueba’s film, based on the true story of an English teacher who motivated his students using Beatles music, beat out Gracias Querejeta’s 15 Years and a Day, Manuel Martin Cuenca’s Cannibal, Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s Family United and Fernando Franco’s Wounded.

Alex de la Iglesia’s fantastical Witching & Bitching swept up eight categories, including most of the technical awards, while Living took six awards — among them original sceenplay, original score and lead actor.

Spanish Culture Minister Jose Ignacio Wert’s decision to not attend the gala, citing an early morning meeting with his British counterpart in education on Monday, was decried by the film sector as a sign of disrespect.

Calling attention to the absence, presenter Manel Fuentes started the evening with: “Did he really not come?”

Javier Bardem followed up by calling Wert the “Minister of anti-Culture” just before handing the award for supporting actress to Terele Pavez for Witching & Bitching.

Secretary of State for Culture Jose Maria Lassalle represented the government, along with Film Institute director Susana de la Serra.

But the ceremony was a true testament of stamina and hope for the Spanish industry’s future.

“Welcome to the whole generation that is knocking at the door,” Fuentes said in his opening remarks, referring to the fact that not one of the directors nominated for the directors nod had won the prize previously.

Editor Fernando Franco won the best new director for his directorial debut Wounded, while much-loved and oft-nominated Javier Camara snagged his first best lead actor award on his sixth nomination for the category for Living Is Easy With Eyes Closed.

Marian Alvarez won the best actress statue, snagging it in a symbolically young group of actresses with the youngest average age ever for the category.

In his annual address, Spanish Film Academy President Enrique Gonzalez Macho received a round of applause when he announced “making movies in this country is a true act of heroism.”

Piracy, subsidy payments delayed for three years or more and a 21 percent value added sales tax on movie tickets were three of the topics highlighted by the president.

Of the Spanish films nominated for the top honors, La Gran Familia is the biggest success at the domestic box office with some €3 million in sales.

Unlike in past years, when the Spanish film industry strained itself to distance from Hollywood’s glamor—proudly picking up awards in faded blue jeans and untucked shirts—the buzz word “elegance” was on display in the long evening gowns and tuxedos. Sunday night’s televised broadcast boasted a two-hour pre-ceremony red carpet special with presenters trumpeting the names of designers like Roberto Cavalli, Giorgio Armani, Roberto Verino, Gucci, Loewe, Naem Khaan, Zuhair Muhad, Carolina Herrera or Adolfo Dominguez, to name a few.

Michael Haneke’s Amour won the award for best European film, while Miguel Ferrari’s Azul y no Tan Rosa won Venezuela’s first Goya ever for the best Ibero-American film.

A complete list of winners follows:

Living is Easy with Eyes Closed
Fernando Trueba P.C., S.A.

David Trueba for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

New Director
Fernando Franco for Wounded

Original Screenplay
David Trueba for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

Adapted Screenplay
Mariano Barroso and Alejandro Hernandez for Todas las Mujeres

Lead Actor
Javier Camara for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

Lead Actress
Marian Alvarez for Wounded

Supporting Actor
Roberto Alamo for Family United

Supporting Actress
Terele Pavez for Witching & Bitching

New Actor
Javier Pereira for Stockholm

New Actress
Natalia de Molina for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

Artistic Director
Arturo Garcia Biaffra, Jose Luis Arrizabalaga for Witching & Bitching

Production Design
Carlos Bernases for Witching & Bitching

Original Score
Pat Metheny for Living is Easy with Eyes Closed

Original Song
Do You Really Want to Be in Love?
By Josh Rouse for Family United

Pau Esteve Birba for Cannibal

Pablo Blanco for Witching & Bitching

Francisco Delgado Lopez for Witching & Bitching

Hair and makeup
Maria Dolores Gomez Castro, Javier Hernandez Valentin, Pedro Rodriguez and Francisco J. Rodriguez Frias for Witching & Bitching

Charly Schmukler and Nicolas de Poulpiquet for Witching & Bitching

Special Effect
Juan Ramon Molina and Ferran Piquer for Witching & Bitching

Animated Feature
Foosball, Jempsa, S.Al, Plural Jempsa and Antena 3

Documentary Feature
Las Maestras de la Republica, directed by Pilar Perez Solano

IberoAmerican Film
Azul y no Tan Rosa, directed by Miguel Ferrari

European Film
Amour directed by Michael Haneke

Fiction Short
Abstenerse Agenciasby Gaizka Urresti

Documentary Short
Minerita by Raul de la Fuente

Animated Short
Cuerdas directed by Pedro Solis Garcia

Honorary Goya
Jaime de Arminan