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González Macho named new Film Academy president

by Sergio Ríos Pérez

11/04/2011

González Macho named new Film Academy president

Yesterday, Enrique González Macho (1947) was named the new president of the Spanish Film Academy, after winning the ballot against Catalan director Bigas Luna by 256 votes to 101.

“We’re here to work in total transparency and explain to society how the film and audiovisual industry works in order to get closer to audiences. There are no miracle solutions. We’re not here to dismantle anything”, said Gonzalez Macho, who will head the institution for three years with actress Marta Etura and film director Judith Colell as vice-presidents.

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It had been years since two such strong candidates had competed for the post (see news) which, after the resignation of former president Alex de la Iglesia (see news), had become a hot potato (Gonzalez Macho himself described it as a “millstone” in an interview with El País). While Luna belongs to the auteur ranks, producer-exhibitor-distributor González Macho was seen as a leading industry figure and a strong champion of Spanish and European cinema (in 1998 he was made a Knight of the French Order of Arts and Letters for his service to the latter) through his movie theatres and distribution company Alta Films.

The election took place in a jovial atmosphere, putting an end to several difficult months in which the Academy reluctantly received enormous media attention. At the end of last year, the controversial anti-piracy law (see news) caused a behind-the-scenes clash between the De la Iglesia and previous Academy president and current Culture Minister, Ángeles González-Sinde.

The eve of the elections brought some excellent news: the longed-for return to the Academy of Spanish cinema’s best-known and most influential brothers, Pedro and Agustín Almodóvar, who cut ties with the institution more than six years ago due to disagreements with the voting system. This return, which was heralded by Pedro’s surprise appearance at the 2010 Goya Awards ceremony (see news), has been interpreted as a mark of recognition for De la Iglesia’s work.

(Translated from Spanish)

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