Cruz to receive Donostia

San Sebastian plans to honour Spanish star

by Amber Wilkinson

Penélope Cruz will receive the Donostia Award at San Sebastian this year
Penélope Cruz will receive the Donostia Award at San Sebastian this year Photo: Courtesy of San Sebastian Film Festival
Spanish actress Penélope Cruz will receive the Donostia Award at this year's San Sebastian Film Festival

The award honours the career of the Academy Award and BAFTA winner - who is also celebrated by this year's festival poster.

The 45-year-old began her career in Spain, with films including Bigas Lunas Jamon Jamon, Fernando Trueba's Belle Époque and Alejandro Aménabar's Open Your Eyes, but she has gone on to enjoy huge success in English language film as well. She won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for the role of Maria in Woody Allen's Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which also won her a Goya - the Spanish equivalent of the Academy Awards. She has also won leading role Goyas for Volver and The Girl Of Your Dreams.

Cruz - who also works in Italian and French - has also starred in films as varied as Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Everybody Knows, Pain And Glory and will also feature in Olivier Assayas' Wasp Network, which has not yet been released.

Upcoming international productions include 355, by Simon Kinberg, and Love Child, by Todd Solondz.

The actress has previously featured in the San Sebastian Official Section three times, in Todos Es Mentira (Álvaro Fernández Armero), Volavérunt (Bigas Luna) and Twice Born (Sergio Castellito). She last attended the festival in 2017, in support of the closing gala Loving Pablo (2017), with Javier Bardem.

Cruz said: "I receive the news of this Donostia Award full of emotion and gratitude to the San Sebastián Festival for granting me this immense honour. San Sebastian is not only an internationally renowned Festival but also the most important in our country and a very special place to me because I have had the pleasure of visiting it since I was very young and have lived very touching moments there. Thank you very much, from the bottom of my heart".

Festival directorJosé Luis Rebordinos said: "We are delighted that Penélope Cruz, a marvellous actress we admire and whose footsteps we have also followed since the start of her career, has accepted to be the image of the San Sebastian Festival and to receive the Donostia Award."

Previous recipients of the award include Antonio Banderas, Glenn Close and Judi Dench.

The 67th edition of the festival will run from 20-28 September.

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