Juan García-Gallardo played a secondary role during much of the Goya Awards gala, held on Saturday in Valladolid, after seeking prominence in the previous one. The vice president of Castilla y León, from Vox, attacked the film sector in the days before the ceremony by calling the filmmakers “gentlemen,” whom he accused of living off subsidies. The senior official received some specific response during the awards ceremony until, at the end of the gala, Pedro Almodóvar, international totem of Spanish cinema, charged against him: “I’m going to tell you the obvious: the money that we filmmakers receive as an advance We return it more than to the State.” Gallardo responded this Sunday morning, via X (formerly Twitter)attacking the “progressive consensus” and stating that “culture is not left-wing.”
The senior regional official listened impassively to Almodóvar’s words, who received an extensive ovation from those present at the Valladolid Trade Fair. Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, his partner on the Board for the PP, also applauded, a party whom García-Gallardo has pointed out in a large Sunday thread of messages on social networks: “Culture is not from the left. The PP gave it to them, but it is not theirs. And within the film industry there are many more people than you think waiting for a widening of the cultural space so that everyone can fit in.” Gallardo has begun his proclamations justifying his presence at the meeting with the “duty of institutional representation.” And also, he added: “Basically because I didn’t feel like giving that space one more year to the progressive consensus.” This is the first edition of the Goya to which a representative of Vox attends, although only he appeared and not other Valladolid councilors or officials of the Executive of Castilla y León.
The vice president has explained his party’s position towards cultural creation with multiple allusions to national productions and limiting his speech to the economic, despite the fact that Almodóvar influenced the monetary contribution, direct and indirect, of Spanish cinema: “What happens There are people who call anything ‘culture’. There are films that cost a fortune and do not contribute anything: neither for entertainment nor for social value.” The politician has asked not to compare The Snow Society, winner in this edition, the The others, “great films from the Spanish film industry”, with titles “that practically no one has gone to see, that do not contribute anything new, but that we have all paid for.”
This purely economic criterion contrasts with the powers that he holds as vice president of Castilla y León, a department that allocates 1.2 million euros in personnel expenses to manage a 112,000-euro budget. The veteran actor José Sacristán made a veiled reference to Gallardo when at one point during the gala he spoke like this: “Responding to the comments of some undocumented immigrants, the films, all of them, are part of the cultural heritage of this country, whether or not they have enjoyed the favor of the public”. The Ministry of Culture estimated in 2021 that the Spanish audiovisual sector contributed 0.71% of GDP and invoiced about 8.4 billion euros annually, in addition to an indirect impact that is difficult to calculate.
The Oscar-winning director Pedro Almodóvar spoke almost at the end of the ceremony to refer to García-Gallardo and his comments. “Not many hours ago, a politician who is present in this room spoke of us as the gentlemen who collect subsidies and then make very bad films that no one cares about. One of those gentlemen is talking to you. Well, I’m going to tell this man the obvious: the money that we filmmakers receive as an advance we more than return to the State through our taxes and social security. In addition to creating thousands of jobs,” explained the filmmaker.
The reproaches of Almodóvar and Sacristán at the gala were joined in the preludes to the same by messages such as that of Javier Calvo, co-presenter of the event, quoting a phrase from the late LGTBI activist Pedro Zerolo: “In my world you do fit, but I Not in yours.” The name of the night, Juan Antonio Bayona, refused to give more publicity to attacks like Gallardo’s: “We should not give publicity to such uninteresting comments because they cloud the debate, what we have to fight for is a serious debate.” The filmmaker Isabel Coixet denied being classified as a “young lady” and stressed that everything she has achieved has been achieved with her own efforts: “I come from the working class.” The actor Enric Auquer pointed out that if Vox has finally attended the ceremony, that means that he should stop calling Spanish cinema “subsidized.”
The senior official at Vox has admitted that the “criterion of economic profitability” should not be the only one when assessing support for a film project, but he has cited the short 27 minutes, about the murder of a civil guard and his partner at the hands of ETA in 1979. Gallardo thus expresses that “there are deficient films that are worthwhile or have a social utility.” And he added that “cinema is a tool of social communication and films of all kinds should be made”, but he clarified that “making the umpteenth film about Franco or about I don’t know what group, I don’t think it should be a priority, there being so many issues.” and so many stories unknown to the general public.” Mañueco’s partner has given the film as an example of “independent cinema”. Spain, the first globalizationby José Luis López Linares.