The 2024 Goya Awards are coming in strong: these are the 10 best nominated films

The best Goya Awards in recent years are coming.

The 2024 Goya Awards are coming in strong: these are the 10 best nominated films
Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

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The Goya Awards are the most important in Spanish cinema and, in recent years, they have little or nothing to envy from other major festivals like Cannes or even the Oscars. The quality of Spanish talent is increasing, from renowned directors like J.A. Bayona to new stars like Elena Martín or Estibaliz Urresola, making it clear that the future is even more promising.

The 2024 Goya Awards are even more intriguing. Dozens of wonderful films have come together, despite their differences, all showcasing incredible artistry. So, after the list of nominees was revealed, here are the best of the year —in no particular order, don’t make it harder for us—. A very tough selection due to the quality, but it’s evident that the Spanish landscape is in a magnificent moment.

Society of the Snow

It’s the top favorite to win the most important awards, and it’s no surprise. Juan Antonio Bayona returns to make his own cinema after being involved in the big productions of Jurassic World 2 and The Lord of the Rings: Rings of Power. He does it with a sort of remake of ‘Alive!’ that has received incredible reviews at every festival where it has premiered, and with its release on Netflix, it’s guaranteed to have the favor of the audience.

The Snow Society has everything to win the top awards: a director acclaimed worldwide, a thrilling true story that can’t go unnoticed, and an incredibly well-invested budget. This could be Bayona’s best movie, so it’s clear that, at the very least, it’s a must-watch.

20,000 Species of Bees

On the opposite side of The Snow Society is “20,000 Species of Bees,” the big surprise in Spanish cinema this year. Directed by Estibaliz Urresola Solaguren, who has all the potential to win the Best New Director award, the movie is a magnificent metaphor about transgender childhood, a very necessary theme to address nowadays.

It’s an intimate, dramatic, and melancholic film that makes it evident that Spanish cinema is currently giving us some of the best talents worldwide. I’m not sure how much “20,000 Species of Bees” will triumph at the Goya Awards, but it’s certainly one of the movies of the year.

The Teacher Who Promised the Sea

One of the most beautiful, thrilling, and poignant films of this year is “The Teacher Who Promised the Sea,” a movie by Patricia Font spectacularly led by Enric Auquer—could a Goya be in store for him?—touching on classic themes like the Civil War and education in a unique and finely blended manner.

The story is a significant flashback focusing on Antoni Benaiges, a young teacher from Tarragona who, before the war, taught the protagonist’s grandfather. Through an innovative teaching method, Antoni inspired his students and made them a promise: to take them to see the sea. It’s definitely a movie that must be seen, no doubt about it.

Robot Dreams

Pablo Berger is seldom mentioned as one of the best Spanish film directors, but there’s no doubt he deserves to be on the podium among our country’s talent. The filmmaker behind “Snow White” and “Abracadabra” ventures into animation with “Robot Dreams,” a film that conquered the Sitges Film Festival and now aims to do the same at the Goya Awards.

“Robot Dreams” transports us to Manhattan to tell the story of DOG, a lonely dog who builds a robot friend and embarks on a beautiful journey together. Amidst emotion, tenderness, and adventure, this movie seems destined to win the Best Animated Film award… and it deserves even more recognition.


The genre isn’t particularly well-regarded among awards of this style, and perhaps that’s why “Creature” hasn’t made it into the running for Best Picture. However, this film deserves that recognition and much more. The winner of the Best European Film award at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes is a gem rarely seen in our cinema.

“Creature” is a metaphor about female taboos and sex portrayed in a wonderful way by director Elena Martín Gimeno. Undoubtedly, it’s one of the best films at the Goya Awards and one of those movies referenced for years to come.

Jokes & Cigarettes

Biopics about comedians form a genre of their own, but they don’t always turn out as well as expected. Just ask Jim Carrey when he portrayed Andy Kaufman in “Man on the Moon.” However, if there’s someone who deserved a film about their life, it’s undoubtedly Eugenio.

The Catalan comedian has received a beautiful tribute from director David Trueba. Starring a superb David Verdaguer—yes, Enric Auquer will have to compete with him for the Best Lead Actor—this film has triumphed with critics and at the box office, leaving only the Goya Awards left to crown its success.

This Excessive Ambition

Let’s be honest. Whether we like it or not, C Tangana is one of the most important Spanish artists of recent years. If, on top of that, we appreciate his wonderful audiovisual style, we cannot help but fall into the grasp of his documentary film.

“This Excessive Ambition” is a documentary about the tour for “El Madrileño,” the album that changed everything a couple of years ago… and about how challenging the music world can be even when you have the audience on your side. It’s a perfect film that, moreover, deserved a nomination for Best Original Song… but perhaps the academies aren’t quite ready for that yet.

Love & Revolution

“Love & Revolution” is another film about the Spanish transition? Yes. Is its LGBTQ+ theme and unique perspective as necessary as they are distinct? Absolutely. One of the surprises at this year’s Goya Awards has been Alejandro Marin’s film making it into the top categories… and it’s truly deserving.

The movie portrays the challenging struggle of a mother in 1977 fighting for the rights of homosexuals at a time when loving someone of the same sex was still considered a crime. With the stellar revelation of Omar Banana, the film stands out as a uniquely endearing piece.

Un Amor

Every time Isabel Coixet directs a film, it’s a given that it will make its way into the best of the year. The director’s magical style soars to new heights with “Un amor,” a film starring the marvelous Laia Costa and Hovik Keuchkerian, addressing interesting themes like harassment or rural Spain.

The movie is one of the most passionate ones seen lately in Spain and has everything it takes to triumph at the Goya Awards, where emotions will run high in every aspect.

Close Your Eyes

We close the list with another favorite among the academics: “Close Your Eyes”. The latest film by Víctor Erice, a director who appears like Halley’s Comet to gift us gems such as “The Spirit of the Beehive” or “The Quince Tree Sun,” is a twilight film that clearly asserts the director’s deserving place in the history of world cinema.

Starring Manolo Solo and José Coronado, the movie won the Lisbon Film Festival and garnered acclaim from all Spanish critics upon its release. Undoubtedly, it’s the other top contender and the only one that seems capable of rivalling “Society of the Snow” in the major categories.

Bola extra: París 70

It’s not often that short films are discussed in these kinds of lists, but I wanted to make a little space to talk about “París 70,” a short film that has everything to win in its category. With tremendous finesse, this film about Alzheimer’s, directed by Dani Feixas and written by Nach Solís, deserves all the love in the world. In case you want to check it out, you can find it on Filmin.

The nominated films are incredible, so the academics have it harder than ever. And you? How many of these movies are you going to watch before the awards are held?

Juan Carlos Saloz

Juan Carlos Saloz

Cultural journalist specialized in film, series, comics, video games, and everything your parents tried to keep you away from during your childhood. Also an aspiring film director, screenwriter, and professional troublemaker.

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