MADRID – Pedro Almodóvar’s “Pain and Glory” swept the top prizes at the Spanish Film Academy's Goya Awards, including best picture, best director and a best actor victory for Antonio Banderas.
“Pain and Glory” is nominated for an Academy Award in the best international film category. Almodóvar is hoping to claim his third Oscar in two weeks.
The film, which is considered the most personal for the 70-year-old Almodóvar, also won best original screenplay, best original music, best editing and a best supporting actress prize for Julieta Serrano.
“I realized that I was writing about myself and the past (and) I wasn’t sure if I should continue and open myself up to such a degree, but I did, and now I am very happy,” Almodóvar said at the awards gala held in Málaga on Saturday.
Banderas had been nominated on five previous occasions for a Goya but had never won other than the honorary Goya for his career in 2015.
Two films about the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War were also recognized.
Alejandro Amenábar’s “While at War” won five awards, mostly in the technical categories, while the award for best actress went to Belén Cuesta for her role in “The Infinite Trench.”
Benedicta Sánchez won for best new actress at age 84 for her role in “Fire Will Come,” a film by Oliver Laxe made without professional actors in Spain's remote northwest.
In her acceptance speech, Sánchez reminded her grandchildren “to not forget their grandma.”
The annual Goya Awards are Spain’s version of the Oscars, honoring excellence in filmmaking for full-length features, shorts, animated films and documentaries. Members of the Spanish Film Academy are eligible to vote.