MADRID (AP) – Pedro AlmodÃ³varâ€™s â€œPain and Gloryâ€ swept the top prizes at the Spanish Film Academy’s Goya Awards, including best picture, best director and a best actor victory for Antonio Banderas.
â€œPain and Gloryâ€ is nominated for an Academy Award in the best international film category. AlmodÃ³var is hoping to claim his third Oscar in two weeks.
The film, which is considered the most personal for the 70-year-old AlmodÃ³var, also won best original screenplay, best original music, best editing and a best supporting actress prize for Julieta Serrano.
â€œI realized that I was writing about myself and the past (and) I wasnâ€™t sure if I should continue and open myself up to such a degree, but I did, and now I am very happy,â€ AlmodÃ³var said at the awards gala held in MÃ¡laga on Saturday.
Banderas had been nominated on five previous occasions for a Goya but had never won other than the honorary Goya for his career in 2015.
Two films about the 1936-39 Spanish Civil War were also recognized.
Alejandro AmenÃ¡barâ€™s â€œWhile at Warâ€ won five awards, mostly in the technical categories, while the award for best actress went to BelÃ©n Cuesta for her role in â€œThe Infinite Trench.â€
Benedicta SÃ¡nchez won for best new actress at age 84 for her role in â€œFire Will Come,â€ a film by Oliver Laxe made without professional actors in Spain’s remote northwest.
In her acceptance speech, SÃ¡nchez reminded her grandchildren â€œto not forget their grandma.â€
The annual Goya Awards are Spainâ€™s version of the Oscars, honoring excellence in filmmaking for full-length features, shorts, animated films and documentaries. Members of the Spanish Film Academy are eligible to vote.