‘SOCIETY of the Snow’ from director J. A. Bayona cleaned up on Saturday night at the 38th Goya Awards, which are Spain’s equivalent of the Oscars. 

The Netflix Original movie tells the true story of the Uruguayan flight that crashed in the Andes in 1972, forcing the survivors of the accident to resort to cannibalism to stay alive. 

The film won Best Picture and Best Director for Bayona at the ceremony last night, notching up a total of 12 prizes. That marks the third-highest haul in the nearly 40-year history of the Goyas. 

Actress Sigourney Weaver during the 38th annual Goya Film Awards in Valladolid on Saturday 10 February, 2024.
Actress Sigourney Weaver during the 38th annual Goya Film Awards in Valladolid on Saturday 10 February, 2024. Cordon Press

Another highlight of the evening was the presence of Alien legend Sigourney Weaver, who was there to collect the International Goya Award.

She was given a rapturous round of applause from the audience present at the event in Valladolid, in the northern Castilla y Leon region. 

“Your country has produced so many masterpieces, bold, unsettling, unforgettable,” she said in her acceptance speech. “What a pleasure it is to act in a film where even the dolly grip has read the script.”

Film director Juan Antonio Bayona (C) attends the red carpet of the Feroz Awards 2024 at Palacio Vistalegre Arena in Madrid. (Photo by Nacho Lopez / SOPA Images/Sipa USA) *** Local Caption *** 50914006
Film director Juan Antonio Bayona (C) (Photo by Nacho Lopez / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Also present at the event were Hollywood starlet Penelope Cruz, who is originally from Madrid, and Spain’s most celebrated film director, Pedro Almodovar. 

The Socialist prime minister of Spain, Pedro Sanchez, was also among the audience. 

The issue of sexual violence in the film industry was a recurring theme among the speeches from both the presenters and winners. 

Estibaliz Urresola, who won the Best New Director award for his movie 20,000 Species of Bees, said: “I hope we have the strength to say ‘it’s over’ in the cinema.” 

Presenters Ana Belen, the singer, and director-actor duo Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi, also referred to the issue, which came to the fore in recent weeks when allegations of abuse were levelled at Spanish film director Carlos Vermut. 

“It is urgent that we all demand certainties of equality and that means condemning all abuses and sexual violence and thoroughly reviewing the structures that allow it,” said Belén, in comments reported by news agency EFE. 

The only prize to elude ‘Society of the Snow’ was Best Adapted Screenplay, but it picked up awards for best original score (Michael Giacchino), production design (Margarita Huguet), art direction (Alain Bainée), costume design (Julio Suárez), sound (Jorge Adrados, Oriol Tarragó, Marc Orts) makeup and hair (Ana López-Puigcerver, Belén López-Puigcerver, Montse Ribé), editing (Andrés Gil, Jaume Martí), special effects (Pau Costa, Félix Bergés, Laura Pedro) and cinematography (Pedro Luque), according to news agency EFE.

Argentine actor Matias Recalt, who is just 22, took the Best New Actor award for his role in the Bayona movie as crash survivor Roberto Canessa. 

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