Johnny Depp To Receive San Sebastian Film Festival’s Highest Honor, The Donostia Award

Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp AP

Johnny Depp is to receive the San Sebastian Film Festival’s (Sept 17-25) Donostia Award, its highest accolade.

The festival today described Depp as “one of contemporary cinema’s most talented and versatile actors”. The ceremony feting the U.S. star will take place on September 22 at the festival’s Kursaal Auditorium.

Depp was at the European festival last year to present Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane McGowan. He also made a fleeting appearance at the Spanish fest in 1998 with Terry Gilliam.

Recent recipients of the Donostia Award include Ethan Hawke, Sigourney Weaver, Judy Dench, Penelope Cruz and Viggo Mortensen.

The award for Depp is likely to raise some eyebrows given the high-profile and ongoing legal entanglements for the Pirates Of The Caribbean star. But San Sebastian has not been afraid to zig when others have zagged in recent years. Last year the event opened with Woody Allen’s latest film, Rifkin’s Festival.

Cinema icon Depp, best known for movies including the Pirates franchise, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory and Edward Scissorhands, recently starred as war photographer W. Eugene Smith in Minamata.

However, the muted release of that film had its director Andrew Levitas at odds with studio MGM. The filmmaker claimed that Depp’s personal baggage prompted the studio to bury the movie. Depp was recently at the center or a protracted and very messy court case involving Brit tabloid The Sun and his former wife Amber Heard. Following his loss in that case, Depp was asked by Warner Bros to resign his role as Grindelwald in the Harry Potter spinoff the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Depp remains engaged in a $50M defamation lawsuit against Heard in the U.S.

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