Spanish actors at Goya Awards say ‘Stop the arms trade’; what about the Junos and Canadian Screen Awards?

Published by Brent Patterson on

Photo: Actors Alba Flores and Ana Belén. Photo by Cordon Press/Europa Press.

The Goya Awards (Premios Goya) are Spain’s annual film awards akin to the Canadian Screen Awards or the Academy Awards in the United States.

This year the award ceremony was held on Saturday February 10 in Valladolid, a city situated about 210 kilometres north-west of Madrid.

20 Minutos reports that actor Ana Belén was one of the hosts and that as “she walked the carpet, alluded to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict with a sticker that she showed on her hand and which reads: ‘Gaza. Ceasefire now. Stop the arms trade’.”

That article adds: “[Actor] Alba Flores, [director] Isabel Coixet, who competes with Un amor, and [Basque director and screenwriter] Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, whose film, 20,000 Species of Bees, is one of the favourites of the night, have also shown it.”

Photo: Director Isabel Coixet.

La Guardia highlights: “This year, one detail has caught everyone’s attention: a watermelon-shaped sticker that many familiar faces, including the presenter of the current awards, have proudly worn.”

Their article also explains: “You only need to read the slogan to understand that they are stickers in support of the Palestinian cause. ‘GAZA. Stop the arms trade. Ceasefire now’ read these stickers, a strong and direct message against the conflict between Gaza and Israel. Moreover, the choice of this symbol is no coincidence. The watermelon, with its colors, represents the flag of Palestine.”

At the ceremony, Urresola said: “If there’s one thing [20,000 Species of Bees] talks about, it’s the importance of naming things and I also wanted to take this opportunity to say that what is happening in Gaza is genocide and we have to ask our governments to stop it.”

Photo: Basque director and screenwriter Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren.

Video: “I take this opportunity to name what is happening in Gaza. It is a genocide and we have to ask governments to stop it.”

Cadenaser also notes: “Actress Alba Flores starred in an off-script moment at the Goya Awards gala when she spoke a few words in support of the people of Palestine before presenting the award for best original song with Amaia Romero.”

It adds: “’Good night and peace for Palestine, please,’ the actress proclaimed, which was followed by unanimous and thunderous applause from the audience. Flores had already starred on the Red Carpet wearing a badge calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.”

Video: “Peace for Palestine, please.”

The “Stop the arms trade” button and sticker were also mentioned in these news reports in El Espanol, El HuffPost, News ES Euro, El Correo, Libertad Digital, El Periodico Mediterraneo, La Vanguardia, Diez Minutos, and ABC among others.

Photo: Penelope Cruz.

Photo: Singer Salvador Sobral, actor Alba Flores and director Alejandro Marín, against arms sales used in Gaza. Photo by Cordon Press/Europa Press.

The Goya Awards took place on the 127th day of the Israeli assault on Gaza. During this period, Israel has killed at least 28,064 Palestinians, and injured more than 67,611.

Canadian arms exports to Israel

Also, on the same day as the Goya Awards, Alex Cosh of The Maple reported: “The Trudeau government authorized at least $28.5 million of new permits for military exports to Israel during the first two months of the state’s brutal war on Gaza, data supplied to The Maple by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) shows.”

“The total value of the new permits authorized over a two-month period exceeds the 30-year annual record high of $26 million in Canadian military exports to Israel in 2021.”

That article adds: “The permits appear to have been authorized quickly, with one processed within four days of the application being submitted. In its 2022 report on military exports, GAC said that its target processing time was 10 days for ‘low-risk’ destinations, and 40 days for other destinations. Israel was not listed as a ‘low-risk’ destination in GAC’s most recent military exports report.”

Three Toronto-based law professors have noted: “Because the ICJ [International Court of Justice] found a serious risk of genocide in Gaza, continuing to export arms to Israel would be illegal [under the Export and Import Permits Act where Canada’s ascension to the Arms Trade Treaty is reflected]. It would also be flagrantly inconsistent with Canada’s obligation to prevent genocide, and could expose Canada and Canadian officials to liability for participation in genocide.”

Canadian award shows in Toronto and Halifax

The 2024 Canadian Screen Awards, this “country’s equivalent of the Oscars and Emmys” will take place this coming May 28-31 at the CBC Broadcast Centre in Toronto.

The nominees will be announced on March 6.

The 2024 Juno Awards for the music industry will take place on March 24 at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax. The full list of nominees can be read here.

Notably, Bloomberg reports: “The Bank of Nova Scotia’s asset-management arm is facing scrutiny for being the largest foreign shareholder in a publicly traded Israeli defense contractor … Elbit Systems Ltd., which has been accused of manufacturing cluster munitions.” Mondoweiss adds: “ In October 2022, Scotiabank’s asset fund put $500 million into Elbit Systems Ltd, which amounts to 5% of the company.”

At the Scotiabank Giller literary award ceremony that took place on November 10, 2023, in Toronto, host Rick Mercer grabbed at signs taken onto the stage. The sign in the photo says: “Scotiabank funds genocide”. Three people were arrested by police and now face charges for obstructing property and using forged documents to gain access to the invitation-only ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel.

The Guardian later reported: “More than 1,800 writers and publishers have signed an open letter in support of the pro-Palestine protesters who disrupted the ceremony of a prestigious Canadian literary award.”

We continue to follow this.

Photo: Ana Belén, one of the hosts of the Goya Awards.

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