Denzel Washington receives his lifetime achievement Donostia Award in San Sebastián Photo: San Sebastián Film Festival/Montse Castillo
Past recipients of the award include Glenn Close and Sir Ian McKellen and Washington said he was "moved" and "humbled" to receive it.
Earlier in the day, he attended a packed press conference to talk about the film - which opens in the UK next Friday (September 26) - and his career. When asked if he was the "heir to Sidney Poitier", he replied "There's only one Sidney Poitier. I'm glad to say he's a friend of mine but I could never be Sidney Poitier."
Confirming he and Fuqua are working on The Magnificent 7, Washington was at pains to point out that it is "inspired by the Seven Samurai, so it's not a remake of The Magnificent Seven."
Washington scotched rumours that he was working on Shovel Ready but said he was making a move into television, planning to produce a series of plays. And on the subject of theatre his advice to budding actors was treading the boards is the place to start.
In terms of his own roles, he didn't rule out taking on the White House job - just not any time soon.
"Barack Obama's story hasn't been finished yet... he's busy right now," he said when asked if he would play the president.