ONCE UPON A TIME, ONE NOMINATION, ONE TRAIN, THE GLORIA STORM AND A SPEECH IN THE POCKET.
Most people working in cinema (apart for a few exceptions like Pepa Flores) like going on stage to receive an award at a Festival, particularly a Goya. For now, the Oscars are from a different galaxy to us.
That’s why, when we were told that “Homomaquia” was nominated to the best animation short movie, we got very happy at El Gatoverde, and we dreamt a little bit about going on stage to receive our first Goya; even though our participation had been limited: most of the work had been done by the Director, David Fidalgo, and Chelo Loureiro’s Production Company Abano.
Once into the role, we looked for the “events’ outfit” in our wardrobes, and we boarded a special high-speed train to Malaga, one of the three that had been chartered. Us nominees were in first class, the academics in the other wagons. There wandered actors, actresses and celebrities, I recognised their faces but, as usual, I was unable to remember their name…
It was pouring rain in Malaga, the ‘Gloria’ storm was ravaging our Mediterranean coasts that day; climate change is felt stronger each year. Taking a walk wasn’t really an option, and we had to be ready at the door at 17h30, where a bus would take us to a sports hall, which wasn’t very well adapted to the event. From a room to the photocall, where over a hundred photographers and TV cameras make you feel important for a few minutes, to another room where you have to control yourself not to finish all the food and alcohol they serve you; you don’t want to fall down the stairs when receiving the Goya because you were too drunk.
After long hours of nerve contention and “controlled” wine glasses, you can finally move on to the auditorium, stop sweating, and even take some pictures, before the endless ceremony starts, which I must admit is more entertaining in live than in TV, although at home you can freely stand up and lay on the couch.
There was a high level among nominees this year: Almodóvar and Amenábar, our most international directors, together with our brilliant Zambrano, Laxe or the basques from “The Endless Trench” (Garaño, Arregi and Goenaga). Great professionals in every category, while we waited for the animation short films, and as we didn’t know when they would arrive, we stayed focused at all times, of course.
Finally they cite us, big expectations, seconds of suspense… and, well, maybe next time. We encourage each other, and now it’s time to relax, we don’t need to give the speech we had prepared anymore:
“In the XVIth century, Pope Pius V dictated penalty of excommunication to anyone attending bullfights. Since the XVIIth century, they were forbidden across most of Europe, including Spain for some periods, by illustrious kings like Carlos III. In the third decade of the XXIst century, it might be time for a progressive Government to re-open the debate on bullfighting in Spain.”
Moreover, the President of the Government was present in the room, what a great moment it would have been, there we would have become famous, at least for the tens of thousands of hate messages and death threats we would have received on social media. On second thought, we avoided that, it sounds pretty annoying having to deal with all that hate.
Almodóvar champion of the night, reconciliation with the academics, and Banderas received the award in his beloved Malaga. Belén Cuesta, well-deserved best actress for her role in “The Endless Trench”.
About the party later, better not say much, too many people in the corridors of the Sports Hall. There are some advantages to going to bed early, taking the early train back, and then flying to Goteborg to talk to Swedish producers about coproducing a comedy about the conflict between Catalonia and the rest of Spain.
Going to the Goya’s was an interesting experience, let’s hope the next time compensates for the trip by bringing back one of the Goya heads.