Penelope Cruz to be honored by Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival

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Penelope Cruz

Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival has revealed the first of its annual Donostia Awards, and will honor this year Penelope Cruz, who will also grace the festival’s 2019 official poster.

Spain’s most internationally recognized actress, Cruz has been a regular presence at San Sebastian for more than two decades, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Since 1994, she has starred in several films invited to screen at the festival, including three in the official competition: Alvaro Fernandez Armero’s “Todo es Mentira” (1994), Bigas Luna’s “Volaverunt” (1999) and Sergio Castellitto’s “Twice Born” (2012).

In 2017, Cruz and husband Javier Bardem presented their film “Loving Pablo” as the closing film of the festival. She is the fifth Spanish actor to receive the Donostia Prize, following Fernando Fernan Gomez (1999), Paco Rabal (2001), Antonio Banderas (2008) and Carmen Maura (2013).

Cruz, 45, is currently starring in fellow Oscar winner Pedro Almodovar’s “Pain & Glory,” which is showing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. She was the first Spanish actress to win a best supporting actress Oscar for her work in 2008’s “Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona,” and she shared the best actress award at Cannes as well as an honorary Cesar for 2006’s “Volver.” Both these films also screened in San Sebastian.

“We are delighted that Penelope Cruz, a marvelous 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,” said festival director Jose Luis Rebordinos in a statement.

Last year’s winners of the Donostia Prize, which was created in 1986 to recognize outstanding contributions to world cinema, were Judi Dench, Hirokazu Koreeda and Danny DeVito.

“I receive the news of this Donostia Award full of emotion and gratitude to the San Sebastian Festival for granting me this immense honor. 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,” Cruz said.

The 67th San Sebastian International Film Festival is set for Sept. 20-28.


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