Spanish film academy hits back at Almodovar

8th February 2005, Comments 0 comments

9 February 2005, MADRID - The Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has broken its silence to reply to criticism from the country's most acclaimed director, Pedro Almodóvar, who resigned from the organization.

9 February 2005

MADRID - The Spanish Academy of Cinematographic Arts and Sciences has broken its silence to reply to criticism from the country's most acclaimed director, Pedro Almodóvar, who resigned from the organization.

Almodóvar and his film producer brother Augustin angrily announced they were leaving the organization, saying they objected to the voting system.

But in a statement, the Academy said the voting system was changed because of what it called the "restlessness to improve it".

They added that it had been approved by the majority of members of the Academy.

Almodóvar said on Monday he was quitting the Academy after "years of discord."

His production company El Deseo released a statement which said that last December the brothers had asked to be removed from the Academy's membership rolls.

The statement said: "The basic reason is the disagreement with the voting system, as well as other aspects governing the functioning of the Academy, such as the lack of information regarding the number of participants in the separate votes."

Augustin told EFE that his brother's withdrawal put an end to the Academy's "historic lack of generosity" toward Pedro.

The Almodóvar brothers' December withdrawal request came after the Academy announced the nominees for the 19th edition of the Goyas, Spain's most prestigious film awards.

At that time, the Academy nominated Pedro's "La mala educacion" ("Bad Education") for just four of the awards.

Last month, the Academy bestowed 14 of the 15 Goyas on Alejandro Amenabar's "The Sea Inside."

"The Sea Inside" was also selected last October by the members of the Academy to represent Spain at the Oscars in Hollywood.

"It's not a question of more or fewer prizes, because we have tons of prizes. Our leaving (the Academy) has to do with the manner of union voting," said Augustin.

"The decision has not been hasty, ... (but rather) the endpoint of years of discord," he explained.

He also denied that the brothers' decision had anything to do with the selection of "The Sea Inside" to compete in the Oscars.

"It's a film that was selected properly. There were two alternatives and, although we would have preferred (our film), the choice was made very correctly and the proof is that it achieved its objective of being among the finalists for the Oscar," he said.

But actress Mercedes Sampietro, president of the Academy, said that it struck her as "very sad" that two people "so important to Spanish film" were abandoning the organization.

Almodovar won the Oscar for best foreign language film for his 1999 work "Todo sobre mi madre" ("All about my mother") and went on take another such trophy for best original screenplay in 2003 with "Hable con ella" ("Talk to her"), which also earned him a best director nomination.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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