The 2023 National Cinematography Award, one of the highest honours bestowed by Spain’s Ministry of Culture, was given to Barcelona-born filmmaker Carla Simón, whose sophomore movie “Alcarràs” won the 72nd Berlinale Golden Bear last year.
Miguel Iceta, Spain’s Minister of Culture and Sports, who was there to present the award during a ceremony held at the San Sebastian Film Festival, addressed Simón in Catalan before switching to Spanish: “With only two feature films, you have left your mark on the recent history of cinema in our country: a short but undisputed trajectory in terms of its strength and personality, recognized both nationally and internationally. A career that is nothing but the promise of a much longer and fruitful one.”
Iceta added, “This award, if you’ll allow me the audacity, is also for all the women who accompany you, for all your professional colleagues and peers, for all those women who, with your example and your struggle, are making the world of cinema a more equal, diverse, and better place.”
The prize is worth €30,000 ($31,800) and is awarded by the Institute of Cinematography and Audiovisual Arts (ICAA), an organization affiliated with the Ministry of Culture and Sports.
“Finally, there are more women involved in filmmaking, and we are witnessing a timid democratization of our profession. There are ways of working that are already considered obsolete and stories that had never been told before. However, at the same time, films and works are still being censored for political reasons, or we self-censor to be politically correct,” Simón said in a highly applauded speech, thanking her family, friends and everyone who has supported her in her brief but amazing career.