At five o'clock on a rainy Sunday afternoon, actress Adelfa Calvo stepped off a train to be greeted by a large group of family and friends who were seemingly as overjoyed as she was that she had been recognised for her achievements.
Calvo, who is from Malaga, won the Best Supporting Actress award at the Goyas, Spain's main national annual film awards, for her role in The Motive, a film centred around a writer trying to find inspiration for his novels amid a difficult divorce.
The bookies had Summer 1993 as the clear favourite, but Isabel Coixet's The Bookshop won the Best Film category, and she also won Best Director and the award for Best Adapted Script.
Coixet devoted her speech to encouraging women to participate fully in Spanish cinema, where just 26 per cent of senior roles are filled by women and only seven per cent of film directors in 2017 were female. Many attendees carried red fans in order to show their support for female empowerment in an industry that has been rocked by sexual harassment scandals. The hope is that Spanish actresses will follow Hollywood's example and speak out.
Carla Simón, the director of the film that won big at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival, Summer 1993, said in her speech that there should be more women in cinema and praised “my girls”, Paula Robles and Laia Artigas. These actresses, with their natural and spontaneous performances, brought to life a moving story about a family where both parents had died of AIDS. This story was a reality for the Catalan director when she was just a girl.
The most successful film, however, was Giant, which won ten awards across all categories. The Basque-language film is about the experiences of a 19th-century man who suffered from gigantism.
Marisa Paredes, whose career has spanned six decades, was awarded an Honorary Goya for her liftime achievement in Spanish cinema.