Blind Sunflowers: Spain Foreign Language Oscar Nominee Sweeps Goya Nominations

Spain’s foreign-language Oscar entry, “The Blind Sunflowers” helmed by vet Jose Luis Cuerda, has been nominated for 15 Goya Awards by the Spanish Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Steven Soderbergh’s “Che” also scored with major nominations, including one for Puerto Rican-born thespian Benicio Del Toro. Penelope Cruz scored a supporting actress nomination for Woody Allen’s “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.”

Mexico’s Diego Luna is in the running for actor, thanks to a tearaway perf in Spanish helmer Agustin Diaz Yanes’ “Solo quiero caminar,” which took 11 noms.

A period melodrama, set in the grim aftermath of the Spanish Civil War, “Sunflowers” has been  a crowd-pleaser, grossing e4 million ($5.6 million).  The nominations are also a tribute to the movie’s cinematographer Hans Burmann and co-screenwriter Rafael Azcona, who is considered by many to be Spain’s greatest scribe. Both died recently.

“Sunflowers” and “Caminar” will face off for best film with Javier Fesser’s “Camino” (seven nomination) and Alex de la Iglesia’s “The Oxford Murders” (six).

The Goya ceremony will take place in Madrid on February 1, 2009.