Two Catalan films win top prizes in Spain’s Goya awards

‘The Bookshop’ and ‘Estiu 1993’ have been awarded with a total of six prizes, including best film and best director  

Frame from 'The Bookshop' (by A Contracorriente Films)
Frame from 'The Bookshop' (by A Contracorriente Films) / ACN

ACN | Madrid

February 4, 2018 11:25 AM

Two Catalan-directed films were among the big winners in the 32nd edition of the Goya awards, Spain’s main annual film awards. After having made their mark on the Catalan and Spanish film industry, Isabel Coixet’s ‘The Bookshop’ and ‘Estiu 1993’ by Carla Simón won a total of six prizes in Spain’s main film awards, including the prizes for Best Film and Best Director.

‘The Bookshop’ won three awards, including the highest one: the Best Film award. Yet Coixets’s film also earned her the awards for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. ‘The Bookshop’ had a total of 12 nominations and it is the second time that Coixet wins the prize for Best Director. Another Catalan film, ‘Incerta Glòria’ directed by Agustí Villaronga, vied for the Best Adapted Screenplay award.

Meanwhile, the hit film ‘Estiu 1993’ (Summer 1993, in English) won three awards. It had 8 nominations for different categories, including Best Film. Still, Carla Simón’s self-inspired debut earned her the award for Best New Director, and two of the actors in the film won the Best Supporting Actor and the Best New Actress awards. Yet, the most awarded film of the night was 'Handía' with 10 prizes. The Basque film had 13 nominations.

‘The Bookshop’, the story of a courageous woman

Coixet’s film tells the story of a woman who decides to open a bookshop in a small seaside village in Britain, despite the opposition of her neighbours, especially those belonging to the upper class. Florence Green, the film’s main character, faces the prejudices and envy of her neighbours. Only courage will help her to carry on.

The film is based on the book of the same name by Penelope Fitzgerald. According to Coixet, one day she went into a bookshop, discovered Penelope Fitzgerald's book, and fell in love with it. Indeed, the story of the main character of the film is not so different from Coixet’s own story. The Catalan filmmaker told the Catalan News Agency (ACN) in an interview that her dream has always been to have her own bookshop.

‘Estiu 1993’, a tale about loss and grieving

Simon's 'Estiu 1993’ tells the story of a six-year-old little girl who loses her parents and, as she deals with loss and grieving, has to integrate into her uncle and aunt's family. The film was the big winner in the 10th edition of the Gaudí Awards, the main annual prizes of Catalonia’s movie industry. ‘Estiu 1993’ won the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay, as well as the prizes for Best Supporting Actress and Best Film Editing.

In addition, it was the film chosen by the Spanish Cinema Academy as its candidate for the 2018 Oscars. Still, Simón’s film failed to pass the first round of films which got nominated in the Foreign Language Film category at the Academy Awards 2018. It was the second time a Catalan film was in the race to go to the Oscars. Last time it was in 2012 with the film ‘Pa negre’ (Black bread).