The Girls, a coming of age drama by a first time female feature film director has scooped the best film award in the 2021 Goyas, the Spanish equivalent of the Oscars.


Pilar Palomero also won Goyas for best new director and best screenplay for her drama Las Niñas set in a convent school. The film was also awarded the prize for best cinematography.

Screen shot from The Girls movie
The Girls, a coming-of-age drama set in a Spanish convent school scooped Spain’s top film prize

The film scooped the top prize beating Netflix drama Adú which as the front-runner leading up to the ceremony with 14 nominations although its director Salvador Calvo was awarded the best director trophy.

The Girls also beat other film nominees including Ane Is Missing from David Pérez Sañudo, Icíar Bollaín’s La boda de Rosa (Rosa’s Wedding), and The People Upstairs aka Sentimental, from director Cesc Gay.

In addition to Bollaín, also in the running in the best director category this year were Juanma Bajo Ulloa, nominated for his horror thriller Baby, and veteran filmmaker Isabel Coixet for It Snows in Benidorm.

Up for best European film at the Goyas were Jan Komasa’s Polish drama Corpus Christi, Viggo Mortensen’s FallingAn Officer and a Spy from Roman Polanski and Florian Zeller’s Brit drama The Father,  which won the category.

Best Ibero-American film was awarded to Fernando Trueba’s Colombian drama Forgotten We’ll Be, beating out contenders including Chilean documentary The Mole Agent, Guatemalan horror film La Llorona, and Fernando Frias’ Mexican drama I’m No Longer Here, all three of which are on the Oscar shortlist for best international feature film. 

Last year, Pedro Almodóvar’s semi-autobiographical drama Pain and Glory was the big winner at the Goyas, winning seven categories, including for best picture, director, original screenplay and best actor for Antonio Banderas, who returned this year to host the ceremony.

The Goyas, Spain’s prestigious annual film awards ceremony, was held at the Teatro del Soho CaixaBank in Málaga. It was a hybrid on-site/virtual ceremony, with no audience nor nominees attending in person.

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