Juliette Binoche to receive a Donostia Award from Spain’s San Sebastian International Film Festival

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Juliette Binoche stars in Clarie Denis’ “Both Sides of the Blade.” [Courtesy photo]

The San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor French movie star Juliette Binoche with one of its Donostia Awards, the Spanish fest’s career achievement prize.

She will receive the award in recognition of her extensive career, “which has seen her play almost 75 characters, from power-wielding heroines to fragile beings, with historical figures, drama roles and comedy parts along the way,” according to the announcement.

Plus, the poster for the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival features a portrait of Binoche taken by French photographer Brigitte Lacombe.

The award will be presented to Binoche in conjunction with a screening of writer-director Claire Denis’ acclaimed “Both Sides of the Blade,” for which Denis earned the Silver Bear for Best Director at the last Berlin Festival. Binoche stars in the romantic drama opposite Vincent Lindon and Grégoire Colin.

Binoche broke out on the European cinema scene in 1985 with Jean-Luc Godard’s “Hail Mary” and André Téchiné’s “Rendez-vous.” Her international breakthrough came in 1998 when she starred opposite Daniel Day-Lewis and Lena Olin in Philip Kaufman’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being.”

She has not only starred in Hollywood films like “Godzilla,” “The Ghost in the Shell” and “Dan in Real Life,” but she also has worked with an international array of respected auteurs, including Denis, Olivier Assayas, Michael Haneke, John Boorman, Louis Malle, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Abbas Kiarostami, Isabel Coixet, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Malgorzata Szumowska.

David Cronenberg, left, works with Robert Pattinson on 2012’s “Cosmopolis.” [Alfama Films photo]

Plus, Binoche starred opposite Robert Pattinson in 2012’s “Cosmopolis” from esteemed filmmaker David Cronenberg, who also will receive a Donostia Award at this year’s San Sebastian International Film Festival.

With Cronenberg, the Spanish fest will celebrate the career of “one of the most unusual filmmakers to come out of the last 50 years.” The award ceremony will be followed by a screening of his new film “Crimes of the Future,” starring Viggo Mortensen, Léa Seydoux and Kristen Stewart. The controversial and celebrated film competed at the recent Festival de Cannes in France.

A master of biological horror, the Canadian filmmaker has directed some 20 features, including works considered today to be the classics of genres like sci-fi, horror, psychological drama and thriller. He has written several works for television, too.

In 2004, the San Sebastian Festival screened “Crash” (1996) as part of the Incorrect@s retrospective, and three years later Cronenberg made what has been until now his one and only visit to San Sebastian to open the official selection with 2007’s “Eastern Promises.”

Spain’s 70th San Sebastian Film Festival is set for Sept. 16-24.


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