The Goya Awards: Spain’s Oscars Ceremony To Be Hosted in Valencia Next Month

Valencia is to host this year’s Goya Awards, Spain’s film awards ceremony. The 36th anniversary will be held at The City Of Arts and Sciences. But where did it all begin? Daniel Hazelhoff reports…

The Goya Awards are Spain’s Oscars ceremony, and the most important film event Spain offers. This year the event will be hosted at La Ciudad De Les Arts (The City of Arts and Sciences) on 12 February 2022. 

This past year has been marked as El Año Berlanga. This is because many institutions celebrated Luis Berlanga, one of Valencia’s most accredited and loved directors. The celebration of the Goya Awards is the climax of the Berlanga year, in a show of poetic cadence. Berlanga had a big part to play in the creation of the Goya awards, as one of the founding members, and contributors to its creation. And the man widely accepted as the instigator for the awards was Berlanga’s dear friend, Alfredo Matas Salinas.

A brief history of time

Alfredo Matas Salinas was born in Barcelona in 1920, the son of textile entrepreneurs. He spent the Spanish Civil War travelling through France and Switzerland. He played the trumpet in jazz ensembles, and showed a keen interest in the business of film. In 1940 he went into business with entrepreneur José Arquer. He was developing The Windsor Palace in Barcelona, an iconic cinema theatre complex, which Matas took charge of. Later, he would travel to Paris and bring from there the new sound and projection system Cinerama.  

Goya Awards ceremony in Valencia
Man with a plan: Goya Awards founder Alfredo Matas

Alfredo Matas produced Plácido, his first film with Luis García Berlanga. This would be the beginning of many films and a long-standing and deep friendship. As a result, Matas also registered his production company Jet Films, firstly in Madrid on 10 January 1961, and then in Barcelona in 1964.

There were other events such as the Oscars in the United States, starting in 1929, the UK’s BAFTAS in 1949, and the French César awards in 1976. Because of these events Spanish directors and those involved within the industry felt the need to create something of their own.

On 12 November 1985, Alfredo Matas Salinas, producer, jazz musician, and entrepreneur, called upon large names within the film industry to meet at the restaurant O’Pazo, in Madrid. 

The Spanish Oscars and BAFTAS are born

The meeting was a gathering of some of the finest minds within the Spanish scene. During the meeting they talked about and debated some of the more prevalent issues within the industry. In short, they were seeking solutions. 

Directors such as Luis Berlanga, and Carlos Saura were present. So were the actors José Sacristán and Charo López. Though this was not merely a gathering of directors and actors. Also, film editors such as Pablo Gonzáez del Amo, and José Luis Martesanz, screenwriter Manuel Matji, musician José Nieto, and decorator Ramiro Gómez all played a part in this original meeting. 

Goya Awrds ceremony in Valencia
Legendary luminary: Carlos Berlanga, feted by his home city of Valencia for the centenary of his birth

This convergence of minds would hold a deep and immovable influence over Spanish cinema until this day. It saw the birth of la Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas en España, and subsequently, the Goya awards.

Original name ideas for the Goya awards were The Lumière Awards, Buñuel Awards or Soles. But but they wanted to find something short, that created a parallel between The American Oscars, and the French Cesars, and thus the Goya Awards were born. 

All this history culminates on 12 February 2022, with the 36-year anniversary of the Goya Awards, and Valencia has the distinct honour of hosting them.

Goya Awards ceremony in Valencia
The birth of cool: Barcelona‘s iconic and magnificent Windsor Palace Theatre

The stars come out

The academy has announced all nominees for all 28 categories for the 36th edition of the Goya Awards. Therefore this will see a glittering galaxy of the great and the good descend upon Valencia for the event, including power-couple Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem,seen on our main picture.

With 20 nominations, El Buen Patrón by Fernando León de Aranoa, holds most nominations; Madres Paralelas, by Pedro Almodóvar, holds 8; Mediterráneo, by Marcel Barrena, holds 7; Libertad, by Clara Roquet and Las Leyes De la Frontera, by Daniel Monzón  both hold 6.

Nominations for the 36th edition of the Goya Awards:

Best film:

  • El Buen Patrón
  • Libertad 
  • Madres Paralelas
  • Maixabel
  • Mediterráneo

Best Director

  • Fernando León de Arnoa, for el Buen Patrón
  • Manuel Martín Cuenca, for La hija
  • Pedro Almodóvar, for Madres Paralelas
  • Iciar Bollain, for Maxibel

Best Lead Actor

  • Javier Bardem, for  El Buen Patrón
  • Javier Gutiérrez, for La Hija
  • Luis Tosar, for Maxibel
  • Eduard Fernández, for Mediterráneo

Best Lead Actress

  • Emma Suárez, for Josefina
  • Petra Martínez, for La vida era eso
  • Penélope Cruz, for Madres paralelas
  • Blanca Portillo, for Maixabel 

Best Supporting Actor

  • Celso Bugallo, for El buen patrón
  • Fernando Albizu, for El buen patrón
  • Manolo Solo, for El buen patrón
  • Urko Olazabal, for Maixabel

Best Supporting Actress

  • Sonia Almarcha, por El buen patrón
  • Nora Navas, por Libertad de Clara Roquet
  • Aitana Sánchez-Gijón por Madres paralelas
  • Milena Smit, por Madres paralelas

The full list of nominations can be seen at

Keep up to date with upcoming events here.

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