The U.S. isnt the only country that holds a night of splendor to celebrate the stars and celebrities of the film industry. Spain hosts a version of the Oscars called the Goya Awards, which this year honored Antonio Banderas with a lifetime achievement award at a ceremony in Madrid late Saturday.
A movie about a police probe into the disappearance of two sisters after a local fiesta in rural Spain in 1980 took home best film, best original screenplay and best director for Alberto Rodriguez.
Spanish actor Javier Gutierrez won the best actor prize for his role as a violent policeman in the movie Spanish title “La Isla Minima”.
Barbara Lennie was named best actress for her role as an unstable housewife in the dark comedy “Magical Girl”.
Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodovar presented Banderas with the award, saying the 54-year-old actor “lit fire to Spanish movie screens in the 1980s” and then went on to become the first Spanish actor to achieve success in Hollywood.
Banderas made his film debut in Almodovar’s 1982 screwball comedy “Labyrinth of Passion”. He went on to star in dramas such as “Philadelphia”, horror films such as “Interview with the Vampire”, the musical “Evita” and was the voice of the animated character Puss in Boots in the “Shrek” films.
“If I look back I feel old, if I look forward I feel young. The second half of my life starts now,” the actor said in his acceptance speech.
This is the first time Banderas receives a Goya, even though he has been nominated four times. He dedicated the award to Stella del Carmen, his 18-year-old daughter and said she is “the person who has suffered the most from my professional commitments, my absences”.
Del Carmen is the actor’s only child with American actress Melanie Griffith. She and Banderas met in 1995 when working together on the romantic comedy “Two Much”. They filed for divorce last year.
The awards ceremony comes after the best year for Spanish movies in terms of both box office and market share since the country returned to democracy following the death of dictator General Francisco Franco in 1975.
Spanish movies grossed around 130 million ($156 million) in Spain in 2014. Their market share was around 25 percent.
“This is a magnificent moment for our cinema,” the president of the Spanish Film Academy, Enrique Gonzalez-Macho, said during his speech at the ceremony”.