VALENCIA is home to some of Spain’s best-loved actors and directors.

But the country’s third-largest city has never hosted a Goya Awards ceremony which celebrates the cream of Spanish cinema.

Following passionate petitions, Valencia will finally welcome the 36th celebration of Spanish films with a burst of activities planned for February 12 this month.

The Goya Awards might not be as well known as the Oscars or BAFTA awards for English speakers.

But recipients of this top prize will be familiar: they include director Pedro Almodovar, as well as actors Antonio Banderas, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz.

In fact Javier Bardem – famous for his roles in No Country For Old Men, Skyfall and Dune – has broken records to become the first actor to pick up five Goya Awards.

Exhibition "de Valencia A Los Goya" In Valencia, Spain 02 Feb 2022
To mark Valencia’s Goya Awards Gala, an exhibition showing all previous Valencian winners is on display in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento. Source:CordonPress.

Valencia’s hosting of the ceremony will be in homage to its own cinematic stars.

The most famous of these is Luis Garcia Berlanga who would have celebrated his 100th birthday last year.

Berlanga won an Oscar for best foreign film in 1962 (Placido) as well as three Goya Awards, four Palme d’Or at Cannes among scores of other accolades.

Valencia’s town hall has announced a slideshow celebrating Berlanga’s life will be broadcast on its façade between 7:30pm to 10:30pm on February 11.

Musicians will also play music from his films with 12 bands playing at 12pm on February 12.

The town hall has also organised a route of ‘cinema menus’ in which 40 restaurants offer meals in homage to Berlanga.

Already 1000 reservations have been made.

The host of the 36th Goya Awards has not yet been announced, though last year Antonio Banderas held the mic as Schoolgirls won Best Picture.

Any nominees this year will have to pull out a miracle to beat 2004’s Mar Adentro (Sea Inside) which picked up 14 Goya Awards in Javier Bardem’s portrayal of a paralysed man fighting for euthanasia.

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