Four candidatures aspire to the presidency of the Film Academy

For the first time in the history of film academy four candidacies are presented to preside over the institution. Mariano Barroso will not renew after four years at the helm and leaves room for a new triple. While on other occasions everything has been decided between a couple of options or even just one. This time they have multiplied. From the Academy it has been valued as a "sign of interest", something that all the candidates have shared in an act in which they have presented their projects to their colleagues and the press. There have also been some critical voices, such as that of the academic Carlos Taillefer, who in one of his speeches expressed the opinion that so many candidacies are a symptom of rejection of the work of the current president.

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Taillefer has been the controversial note of an act where the main lines of all the candidates for the presidency have been glimpsed. These are the four options to replace Mariano Barroso from the elections next June. That yes, all have made it very clear that there will not be a Goya for the best series as was rumored a few years ago.

Luisa Gavasa: feminism to demolish topics

The actress Luisa Gavasa is the most popular face of those who present themselves to the presidency of the Academy. She is an actress with decades of experience and who won the Goya for Best Supporting Actress for The Bride. A person involved in the industry who introduces herself with her daughter-in-law, Virginia Yagüe, who was president of the association of women filmmakers, CIMA, where she continues to have a very active voice. She completes the shortlist the director Juan Vicente Córdoba. A candidacy in which they have explained that what they want is to end prejudice.

“This candidacy aims to knock down clichés, knock down clichés, and this is not a minor matter”, Yagüe stressed, recalling how Spanish cinema has been weighed down by these clichés. "We believe that the academy should be valuing you for a change of posture and a change of point of view to place the cinema where it deserves as a social and economic cultural agent of the first order", he has remarked and has also asked to integrate younger professionals because “new voices” are needed.

Gavasa has initially recognized the work of Mariano Barroso and has assured that he wants to follow "the path of solvency". For this he has stated four key points: "integration, equality, decentralization and sustainability". “In a few years the presence of women is much stronger, it is no longer just in makeup and hairdressing, but they take the camera and are in charge of photography. The Academy must work along these lines to guarantee full equality”, Gavasa defended, underlining the proposal's feminist commitment, recalling that the proportion of women in the Academy is still much lower than that of men.

Teresa Medina: not to politicize to recover the public

The most unknown of the candidates is Teresa Medina. She is the first woman to chair the Association of Directors and Cinematographers in Spain (AEC), and now she wants to chair the Film Academy accompanied by the documentary director Pilar Pérez Solano (winner of the Goya for The Teachers of the Republic) and by costume designer Cristina Rodríguez. Rodríguez has had one of the most controversial interventions when she has stated as a key issue the recovery of the public for what she has asked "not to politicize".

“I've heard people say 'I'm never going to see a Spanish film'. Spain is divided in two, and there is another half that must be caught and taken to the cinema, and we have to tell you that Spanish cinema is wonderful. It is difficult because we have also had very bad press, and although it has changed, we must continue making great films and not position ourselves politically, although I know that everyone can say what they want, ”he has opined.

An "artistic technical" candidacy that they wanted to underline as one of "horizontality and transparency". One of the keys they will work on will be "internationalization to reach people's hearts". “Our great dream is that our Academy Awards would be as celebrated as the Oscars, the Cesars or the Baftas”, they wished.

Of the shortlist, Solano is the one with the most 'political' experience, since in recent years she has been in the Generalitat Valenciana, where she has worked to recover the Ciudad de la Luz studios and in the opening of the public channel A Punt. She has placed a lot of emphasis on something that everyone has highlighted, decentralization, and made it clear that she cannot limit herself to the Goya going to one city every year. Another of its keys is education, and for this they have requested that the framework document of Fernando Lara be recovered, which contains concrete proposals for audiovisual literacy of Spanish youth.

Fernando Méndez-Leite: the continuity option

The most veteran of the candidates is Fernando Méndez-Leite, an institution in cultural management specialized in cinema. He has been director of the School of Cinematography and Audiovisual of the Community of Madrid (ECAM), member of the selection committee of the Malaga Festival, director of the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA) and member of the Academy since its foundation. That is why he was accused by Carlos Taillefer, at the most tense moment of the morning, of being a "leader." Leite took it with humor, ironically assuring that he had "lined up" with all those charges.

Leite made it clear from the beginning that this candidacy is "continuous" with the work of Mariano Barroso. For this reason, he appears together with Rafael Portela, the current vice president who aspires to repeat the position this time. Méndez-Leite has asked to "know the past, study the present and plan the future".

They have also highlighted the decentralization of the Academy and the work of the Academy as an important actor in the negotiations with the Ministry of Culture in the decisions that are made. Among them, Susi Sánchez —who completes the list—, has highlighted an Artist's Statute that is still in process.

Valérie Delpierre: a commitment to independent production

In recent years there is a quarry of directors who have swept away their first films. Behind two of them, Verano 1993 and Las Niñas, is the name of Valérie Delpierre, one of the great independent producers of Spanish cinema since she began working in our country 20 years ago. As her candidacy partner, screenwriter Alicia Luna, has highlighted, "Delpierre represents our cinema at festivals, associations and defends it."

The philosophy of this proposal is “sustainability and inclusiveness”. Delpierre has made it clear that both principles cannot be applied only to one act, but must be "always in each loose thing of each program, which is a matter of focus." For this he has asked to "change daily habits".

The production company has once again named decentralization, and has made it clear that work must also be done on it as a way of recovering the public: “There are no local cinemas in many provinces, and we have privileged access to this content. It would be wonderful if we could make it possible for cinema to reach those corners, but also at the level of education”.

A “horizontal” candidacy where everyone wants to have the same weight and where “none wants to be in it to appear in a photo or to promote their career”. The actress Amparo Climent, part of the list, thanked the late Yvonne Blake for her work, which "began this process of change" and stressed that this candidacy has a mission: "support independent productions, essential for our cinema" .

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