Enrique González Macho • President of the Spanish Film Academy
by Sergio Ríos Pérez
30/04/2012 - Since having been elected president of the Spanish Film Academy in April 2011, despite his long-standing career as producer, Enrique González Macho's public image has taken a radical turn, for better and for worse. He is greatly respected within the film sector for his work as a film professional defending European and Spanish cinema, original versions, and auteur cinema, yet his declarations about Internet (read more) and his role as representative of the national film academy have earned him the hostility of both the Internet's most radical activists and those opposed to the Spanish film industry for political reasons.
All this, along with the Spanish film industry's current crisis (read more) and suspicions of Spain's conservative government settling scores with the film sector (read more), make his job as president of the Academy a particularly thankless one.
"Life is wonderful," he said. "Even if I didn't give up producing over the last few years, I only worked on co-productions, while this film is entirely mine! It's only natural that this side of me is overshadowed by my role as president of the Academy."
Miel de naranjas, which won Best Director and Best New Screenplay at the festival (read more), is a drama set in Andalucía in the years after the Spanish Civil War.
Journalist Oskar Belategui has said that it's the kind of film that people who do not watch Spanish films think is a typical Spanish film. Indeed, one of the most common criticisms levelled at Spanish film productions is that they concentrate too much on the Civil War and its aftermath.
González Macho emphatically disagrees: "To start with, that's simply not true. In any case, it was the most important event in 20th century Spain, which is why people will want to talk about it. If you don't learn from the past, you are much more likely to repeat it in the future."
So could his activity in distribution (Alta Films) and exhibition (Cines Renoir) induce a reconciliation with this supposedly unpopular theme?González Macho is categorical: "I have no problem addressing any theme, whether it is the Civil War or any other. Besides, films about the war, like 13 Roses [trailer] or The Blind Sunflowers, are doing very well." What is clear though is that, beyond genre and political orientation, González Macho has a very definite idea of the films that he likes to produce: " I defend films that have content, films with an auteur's mark and their own personality."