Representatives from the prestigious Spanish Film Academy (Academia de las Artes y las Ciencias Cinematográficas de España) on Monday confirmed Malaga as the host of next year's Goya awards ceremony.
The awards, which promote Spanish film, are the equivalent of the Oscars in the US or the UK's Baftas.
Malaga-born Antonio de la Torre, who won the Best Actor award at the last ceremony for his role in El Reino, showed his support for the decision. He told SUR that he feels very "happy" about the recognition of Malaga, which "has always supported Spanish cinema with its festival", referring to the Spanish-language film festival held in the city every spring since 1998. Spanish director Isabel Coixet agreed, saying: "Malaga is the ideal city for the Goyas."
Malaga's most famous actor, Antonio Banderas, also expressed his "immense joy", saying on social media that "after so many years of Malaga backing culture, the Spanish film academy recognises this work by bringing the Goya ceremony [here]".
Antonio de la Torre suggested that Malaga's own Hollywood star will be one of the stars of the 2020 gala. "I bet Antonio Banderas will be nominated and is the favourite," said De la Torre, referring to his fellow Malagueño's role in Dolor y Gloria (Pain and Glory), the latest film directed by Pedro Almodóvar, which was rewarded in Cannes earlier this year.
He will have to wait until 2 December when the nominations are announced to confirm his prediction.
The Goya ceremony will be held on 25 January in the Martín Carpena basketball arena (the copper-domed building on the outskirts of the city). This will be the first time that a sports facility instead of a theatre will be the venue for this annual event which attracts large television audiences in Spanish-speaking countries. This venue choice offers organisers sufficient capacity for their audience of 3,000, and more if necessary.
Normally the gala is held in Madrid, but recently efforts have been made to organise it outside the capital. Last year it was held in Seville.
The cost of the ceremony will be more than two million euros, which will be provided in equal parts by the city hall (Ayuntamiento), the regional government (Junta de Andalucía), the provincial government (Diputación) and Unicaja Banco.
The Goyas will provide a boost both to the image of the city and local business, especially at a quieter time of year on the Costa.