Bayona: “We will only have strong Spanish cinema if we recover the public”

With the best direction award under the arm and 11 other awards, including best filmin the hands of people from the ‘Snow Society’ team, Juan Antonio Bayonathe supersonic winner in the annual Goya festivalwanted, already in the early hours of Sunday, to expose the urgent need that Spanish cinema has to reinforce its industrial framework with more resources and more viewers. “Only if we recover the public will we have a strong industry and will we be able to work with the necessary resources to deploy all the talent we have,” she assured.

The Barcelona filmmaker made these statements shortly after leaving the stage of the auditorium of the Valladolid fairgrounds, shost of the Goya galaand very few hours before traveling to Los Angeles to participate on Monday in a lunch of Oscar nominees (‘The Snow Society’ is a candidate in the categories of best international film and best makeup and hairdressing). “Then we will go to New York and next weekend we will be at the BAFTAs [los premios del cine británico]so we are already in the midst of a whirlwind,” he said.


Bayona admitted that his status as a film author with an undeniable commercial vocation and artistic ambition who has often worked on international productions makes him Sometimes you feel “a little out of place” in a Spanish cinema which, despite everything, he identifies as his “family.” And he was extremely satisfied with the fact that the Academy had recognized him as one of its own and had rewarded his work despite the misgivings that the fact that ‘The Snow Society’ could arouse in some sectors ‘ be a Netflix production. “That it is the Academy that has recognized this film in such an overwhelming way makes me happy.” Despite the numerous Goya awards that Bayona had previously won with titles such as ‘The Orphanage’, ‘The Impossible’ and ‘A Monster Comes to See Me’, one of his films had never been hailed as the best of the year. Until now.

In line with the speech he had given from the stage when collecting one of his trophies, the Catalan director suppressed his joy for a moment and became serious to emphasize that Spanish cinema is going through a moment of enormous difficulty and it can only be overcome by attracting the public. “We have a complicated outlook,” he said. Many spectators have been lost since the pandemic. In Spain and around the world. AND we need a strong, stable and consistent audiencebecause that is what gives muscle to the production.”

Fewer resources

Bayona welcomed the growing female presence in all areas of film creation, but regretted that they often have to do so in precarious conditions. “Films are being produced with fewer resources than when I started,” she noted. “Women’s access to direction, to cinematography, to all disciplines is very good, but what panorama do they find when they arrive?”

Nor did the author of ‘The Snow Society’ avoid responding, even if it was through disdain, to the criticism that Vox leaders such as the vice president of the Junta de Castilla y León Juan García-Gallardo had directed at the film community. Spanish (“little gentlemen,” he called them). “They are comments that they disavow themselves and they must be ignored – Bayona declared -. “Spanish cinema needs a much more serious and rigorous debate.”

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