The Goya Awards in Spain will feature a #MeToo moment in film.The Goya film awards ceremony took place on Saturday night in the northern city of Valladolid, Spain, but the event was overshadowed by accusations of sexual assault against an independent Spanish filmmaker.
The story was still making headlines two weeks after three women told the newspaper El Pais that filmmaker Carlos Vermut had sexually assaulted them. In interviews with El Pais, Vermut has consistently denied any misconduct. Actor Ana Belen, who was one of the presenters at the ceremony on Saturday, admitted that the problem would be “present” during the four-hour event, which honored films directed by Justine Triet and J. A. Bayona.
As he arrived at the awards, Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez told reporters, “We have to change many things.” Structural violence is violence directed towards women. American actress Sigourney Weaver, who received an award at the function, spoke about the scandal at a press conference on Friday.
The three-time Oscar nominee expressed her sorrow, saying, “My heart goes out to the women.” “Women who voice their concerns about these conditions and abuses are contributing to the safety of working women in this field.”
Weaver, 74, received a lifetime achievement award for a number of movies, such as “Gorillas in the Mist” and the “Alien” series. The best film prize went to Bayona’s “Society of the Snow,” which tells the story of an amateur rugby team from Uruguay whose plane crashed in the Andes Mountains in 1972. The best European film award went to Triet’s “Anatomy of a Fall.”
“A significant issue”
Ernest Urtasun, Spain’s Minister of Culture, promised on Friday to establish a unit to address claims of abuse in the industry. “We as institutions need to take action because we have a serious problem with sexual assault and violence within the world of culture,” he stated to La Sexta television. The Spanish Film Academy has also declared its intention to combat these kinds of industry abuses.
The academy, which oversees the awards, declared that “sexual violence and abuses of power have no place in the world of cinema or in Spanish society as a whole.” The 43-year-old director, whose real name is Carlos Lopez del Rey, is a rising star in Spain’s independent film industry. His second feature, “Magical Girl,” won two top honors at the 2014 San Sebastian film festival.
According to El Pais, which cited the three women, the alleged assaults took place between May 2014 and February 2022. An outrage over the report was seen in a nation that has led the way in combating sexual assault. Vermut stated he had not been “aware of having exercised sexual violence against any woman” during his three interviews with the newspaper. Many well-known actors have faced allegations of sexual assault since the #Metoo movement began to take off in 2017. -AFP