The Spanish Film Academy has honoured Daniel Monzon’s popular prison drama Cell 211 with a massive 16 nominations for this year’s Goya awards, followed by Agora with 13, and nine apiece for The Dancer And The Thief and The Secret In Their Eyes.

The fact that these four films dominate the nominations, making up the entire best film and best director categories, comes as no surprise as three of them have already proved huge successes at the Spanish box office, particularly Alejandro Amenabar’s historical epic Agora ($30m). Fernando Trueba’s The Dancer And The Thief, has been selected as Spain’s entrant for the foreign-language Oscar.

“These are sensible nominations as they have proven their worth at the box office,” agrees Juan Gordon at Morena Films, the producers of Cell 211, which has been hugely praised by the Spanish film industry and critics for its professional look and quality acting, particularly from Luis Tosar as the leader of a prison riot.

Amenabar said at the ceremony in the Academy building that it had been “a great year for Spanish cinema” and was quick to push the worth of his fellow nominees, Agora co-scriptwriter Mateo Gil and lead actress Rachel Weisz.

Other notable nominees include Daniel Sanchez Arevalo’s comedy Gordos, starring Raul Arevalo and Antonio de la Torre, which picked up eight nominations, Sigrid Monleon’s drama El Consul De Sodema and Pedro Almodovar’s Broken Embraces (both five), Alvaro Pastor and Antonio Naharro’s Yo, Tambien (four), Jorge Blanco and Javier Abad’s animation Planet 51 (two) and only one nomination for Jaume Balaguero and Paco Plaza’s popular horror [Rec] 2, Steven Soderbergh’s Che: Part 2 and Francis Ford Coppolla’s Tetro.

Key Goya nominations

Best Film


Cell 211

The Dancer And The Thief

The Secret In Their Eyes

Best Director

Alejandro Amenábar Ágora

Juan José Campanella The Secret In Their Eyes

Daniel Monzón Cell 211

Fernando Trueba The Dancer And The Thief

Best Original Script

Alberto Rodríguez Librero, Rafael Cobos After

Mateo Gil, Alejandro Amenábar Ágora

Daniel Sánchez Arévalo Gordos

Pedro Almodóvar Broken Embraces

Best Adapted Script

Daniel Monzón, Jorge Gerricaechevarría Cell 211

Fernando Trueba, Antonio Skarmeta, Jonás Trueba The Dancer And The Thief

Joaquín Górriz, Miguel Dalmau, Sigfrid Monleón, Miguel Ángel Fernández El cónsul De Sodoma

Eduardo Sacheri, Juan José Campanella The Secret In Their Eyes

Best Actor

Ricardo Darín The Secret In Their Eyes

Antonio de la Torre Gordos

Jordi Mollá El Cónsul De Sodoma

Luis Tosar Cell 211

Best Actress

Penélope Cruz Broken Embraces

Lola Dueñas Yo, También

Maribel Verdú Tetro

Rachel Weisz Ágora

Best New Director

David Panell La Vergüenza

Borja Cobeaga Pagafantas

Mar Coll Tres Días Con La Familia

Antonio Naharro, Álvaro Pastor Yo, También