‘The Impossible’ triumphs at Catalan ‘Gaudí’ Film Awards

The Catalan ‘Gaudi’ Film Awards had a true international feel this year as ‘The Imposible’, directed by Barcelona-born moviemaker Juan Antonio Bayona, came out on top. Starring Ewan McGregor and Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts, the film won the six awards for which it was nominated, including Best Director and Best European Film. The Catalan-Spanish production ‘Blancanieves’, directed by Pablo Berger, was voted Best Catalan Film. Àlex Monner – famous for his ‘Red Band Society’ part – was recognised as Best Actor for the film ‘Els nens salvatges’ and Maria Molins won Best Actress for ‘El Bosc’.

Clara Roig Medina

February 4, 2013 11:36 PM

Barcelona (CNA).- Barcelona played host on Sunday evening to the 5th edition of the Gaudí Awards, organised by the Catalan Film Academy. Year after year, the ceremony has advanced in its attempt to give the Catalan cinematography industry international recognition. This time, the English language film ‘The Imposible’, directed by Barcelona-born Juan Antonio Bayona and starring Ewan McGregor and Oscar-nominated Naomi Watts, won all the prizes for which it was nominated: Best Director, Best European Film, Photography, Sound, Editing and Make-up & Hairdressing. Also, the Catalan-Spanish production ‘Blancanieves’ (Snow White), a silent movie set in early-20th-century Spain, won the Best Catalan Film award as well as Best Original Music and two other minor prizes. The non-Catalan language film award went to ‘Una pistola en cada mano’, by Cesc Gay, which also won Best Script and both the Secondary Actor and Actress awards, for Eduard Fernández and Candela Peña respectively. Àlex Monner was recognised as Best Actor for ‘Els nens salvatges’ movie and Maria Molins won Best Actress for ‘El Bosc’.

The 5th Gaudí ceremony, led by late-night talk show host Andreu Buenafuente, was full of social criticism and black humour in which reality almost overwhelmed fiction. Beginning with a trailer from the Catalan School of Cinema, ESCAC, Buenafuente and other prominent figures of Catalan cinema led the awards ceremony between laughter and applause.

Among the highlights, Berto Romero – Buenafuente’s comedy partner – and actor Roger Comas performed a hilarious musical comedy, European film star Sergi López – a Catalan actor well-known in France – attacked the increase to 21% in VAT on cultural products and veteran actress Montserrat Carulla – awarded with the Honorific prize – reiterated her support for Catalonia’s independence movement “with full respect for the Spanish people”.

Seeking international recognition

The Gaudí Awards, organised by the Catalan Film Academy, seeks to give the Catalan cinematography industry recognition both within the Catalan society and at world level. Created by actor Joel Joan, who has been the President of the Catalan Film Academy for the last five years, it has grown bigger and bigger every year. The Catalan Minister for Culture, Ferran Mascarell, recognised that the ceremony is very important to the cinema industry because the prizes encourage audiences to go to the movies. According to Mascarell, poor national reception is the greatest difference between Catalan cinema and the French or American industry.

Juan Antonio Bayona thanked the Academy for the six awards given to his film ‘The Impossible’. He assures it is “very difficult to be recognised at home”, but has succeeded in showing to the world that the Catalan film industry can make ambitious projects real: “we have such a technical capacity that Americans are still wondering how we have done this film”. Ambitious it certainly was: a cast led by Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts won six out of six: Best Director and Best European Film as well as the technical awards of Editing, Sound, Photography and Make-up & Hairdressing. After this, the next stops are the Spanish Goya Film Awards and the Oscar for Naomi Watts, who has been nominated Best Actress.

Àlex Monner, from hit TV show ‘Red Band Society’ to Gaudí Award

Another winner of the night was precocious star Àlex Monner, a high-school teenager who won the Best Actor award for the film ‘Els nens salvatges’. Famous for playing the main character of the TV-series ‘Red Band Society’, he is fed up of lending life to only one type of character: the rebel, cheeky but friendly teenager, more or less his own personality. “I would like to play a character very different from my own physical and psychological qualities”, he assured. He prefers cinema rather than television, and above all, he wants to be recognised for other roles apart from the ‘Red Band Society’. His wish is to work next to Bayona.