Spanish Goya Awards: 'Witching & Bitching,' 'Family United' Lead Nominations

Witching and Bitching still - H 2013

Witching and Bitching still - H 2013

Works by Daniel Sanchez Arevalo, David Trueba, Manuel Martin Cuenca, Gracia Querejeta and Fernando Franco will compete for the top honors at the Goya ceremony on Feb. 9.

MADRID – Cult-director Alex de la Iglesia’s Witching & Bitching – with 10 categories – and promising talent Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s Family United – with 11 – took the lead as favorites Tuesday, when the Spanish Film Academy announced nominations for the Goya Awards.

Surpised "ooos" went up in the room as the nominations were read and film and director categories didn’t include Alex de la Iglesia or Pedro Almodovar, whose I'm So Excited, only snagged one nomination for wardrobe.

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Gracia Querejeta’s 15 Years and One Day Manuel Martin Cuenca’s CannibalDavid Trueba’s Living Is Easy With Your Eyes Closed and editor Fernando Franco’s directorial debut Wounded round out the category for film, which allows for five candidates. Querejeta, Martin Cuenca, Sanchez Arevalo and Trueba vie in the director nod, as well.

The announcement comes on the heels of the worst box office earnings in over a decade. Spain registered 507 millioneuros ($690 million) in sales in 2013, which is 107 million euros ($146 million) less than 2012. In fact, none of the favorites for the top categories earned more than 5 million euros ($6.8 million) in ticket sales.

"Films can’t be a high form of complaint," Trueba said after the nominations were announced. "It has to be a pleasurable offer for people. The best thing we can do for society is to try to let people enjoy our films."

Tito Valverde(15 Years), Antonio de la Torre (Cannibal), Eduardo Fernandez (Todas la Mujeres) and Javier Camara (Living Is Easy) were nominated for their roles as lead actors.

Spain’s latest sex symbol Inma Cuesta (Three Too Many Weddings) will compete against Marian Alvarez (Wounded), Aura Garrido (Stokholm) and Nora Navas (We All Want the Best For Her) for the lead actress category.

Franco will face off with Neus Ballus (The Plague), Jorge Dorado (Mindscape) and Rodrigo Sorogoyen (Stockholm) for the new director honor.

Juan Jose Campanella’sbox office hit, Foosball – which has earned an estimated $22 million thanks to its wild success in Argentina and Spain – will compete with Manuel Sicilia’s Justin and the Knights of ValorMaite Ruiz de Austri’s ElExtraordinario Viaje de Lucius Dumb and Saul Barreto Ramons and Manuel Gonzalez’s Hiroku: Defensores de Gaia for animated feature.

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Argentina’s nomination for an Oscar Lucia Puenzo’s Wakolda, The German Doctor will run against Miguel Ferrari’s Azul y no Tan Rosa (Venezuela), Sebastian Lelio’s Gloria (Chile) and Diego Quemada-Diez’s La Jaula de Oro (Mexico) for the Ibero-American film award.

The winners of the last two European Film Awards, Michael Haneke’s Amor (2012) and Paolo Sorrentino’s The Great Beauty – thanks to a delayed release of Amor in Spain that places them in the same time frame – will compete for European film, against Thomas Vinterberg’s The Hunt (Danish) and Abdellatif Kechiche’s La Vida de Adele (France).

The awards will be presented at the gala ceremony in Madrid on Feb. 9.