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Catalan production ‘Las niñas’ wins four Goya film awards, including Best Picture

Pilar Palomero’s childhood drama emerges triumphant in Spain’s Oscar-like gala


07 March 2021 12:34 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan production ‘Las niñas’, a coming-of-age story set in an only-girls religious school in the 1990s, emerged triumphant in the latest edition of Spain’s Goya film awards, winning Best Picture and three other statuettes.

The director Pilar Palomero, from Zaragoza, where ‘Las niñas’ takes place, also received the Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay prizes on Saturday night, and Daniela Cajías took home the statuette for Best Photography.

The gala was broadcasted from Malaga, in the Southern Spanish region of Andalucía, and presented by the Hollywood star Antonio Banderas and the journalist María Casado. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, the nominees followed the gala from their homes.

The president of Spain’s Film Academy, Mariano Barrosso, acknowledged the difficulties faced by the industry a year after the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic shook Spain.

"The Goya [awards] are two things: a celebration for the film industry and an opportunity to meet our public. As for the former, we knew we shouldn’t, couldn’t, and didn’t want to celebrate it; but we didn’t want to adjourn the latter," said Barrosso, stressing that cinema helps "heal sadness" and "overcome pain."

'Adú' and 'Akelarre'

Salvador Calvo received the Best Director prize for 'Adú', named after one of the film's protagonists, a 6-year-old boy attempting to travel from Africa to Europe. The film also took home the statuettes for Best Production, Best Sound, and Best New Actor for Adam Nourou.

The historic drama 'Akelarre', recounting the Basque witch trials by the Spanish Inquisition in the 17th century, received the most awards with five statuettes for Best Original Music, Best Art Direction, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, and Best Special Effects.


  • On the screen, Pilar Palomero after receiving the Best New Director award at the Goya's gala (by Spain's Film Academy)

  • On the screen, Pilar Palomero after receiving the Best New Director award at the Goya's gala (by Spain's Film Academy)