Penelope Cruz Receives Donostia Award at San Sebastian Film Festival

Penelope Cruzis being heralded in her home country…

The 45-year-old Oscar-winning Spanish actress has received San Sebastian Film Festival‘s biggest honor, the Donostia Award.

Penelope Cruz

Cruz was given the prize — which had been announced in May — over the weekend during a gala ceremony in a surprise presentation by her close friend, U2lead singerBono, who praised Cruz for her film roles and her off-screen concern for humanity.

“Penélope’s life on the screen fascinates me because it is a family drama,” he said. “Artists like us, like me, get lost in our own selves. Penelope gets lost in others. That’s why we get lost in her.” 

Upon accepting the award, Cruz spoke out against domestic violence against women in Spain and around the world.

“So far this year, 44 women have been murdered by gender-based violence in our country, and since 2003 more than a thousand. How many women are being murdered around the world?”, she asked. “I hope that when a woman finds the superhuman strength she needs to tell what she is going through in such a situation, she will be heard at first and not when it is too late.”

Cruz dedicated the award to her parents, her children and husband, fellow actor Javier Bardem, and three directors she has worked with: Pedro AlmodóvarBigas Lunaand Fernando Trueba.

Cruz is the youngest actress to receive the Donostia prize, three of which are awarded each year.

Greek director Costa-Gavrasand Canadian actor Donald Sutherlandwere named winners of the honor earlier in the week at the festival in the northern Spanish seaside resort town. Cruz won the best actress Oscar in 2008 for her role in Woody Allen‘s Vicky Cristina Barcelona, becoming the first Spanish actress to win an Academy Award.

Swizz Beatz to Attend Harvard Business School

Swizz Beatz is headed to the Ivy League

The 35-year-old half-Puerto Rican hip-hop artist and record producer, born Kasseem Dean, has been accepted to Harvard Business School’s nine-week Owner/President Management Extension Program, the same one attended by AntonioL.A.Reid at the request of Clive Davis.

Swizz Beatz

Beatz, the husband of Alicia Keys,made the announcement by posting his acceptance email on his Instagram account earlier this week.

“This might be one of the happiest days of my life,” he posted on his social media account. “From BX to Harvard.”

Beatz has produced hit singles for the likes of Nas, Nicki Minaj, Beyonce and Bono. He’s also a fashion and shoe designer, art collector and tireless brand promoter who spent the 2010-11 academic year as the first “producer-in-residence” at New York University‘s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.

The HBS program awards those who pass the curriculum a certification for the course, which is aimed at CEOs and heads of companies. The price tag is $33,000 per credit, with Beatz taking three credits for a cool 100 grand, beginning next month. He’ll live in Harvard housing.

“Admission is a selective process based on professional achievement and organizational responsibility. We look for professionals who have demonstrated business talent and leadership potential,” according to the school’s official site.

The program focuses on navigating the global economy, maximizing financial resources, aligning strategies and sales and other business skills.

Keys and son Egypt will join him in the dorm on weekends, according to Showbiz 411’s Roger Friedman, who interviewed Swizz on the carpet at the The Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiere. His wife performed her soundtrack song with Kendrick Lamar at the post-premiere party.

Swizz, who never went to college, started his music career directly after graduating high school.

Saldaña Commemorates World AIDS Day with Special Video

This World AIDS Day, Zoë Saldaña is asking her fans to take part in the war against AIDS…

The 34-year-old half-Puerto Rican & half-Dominican American actress was among the artists/celebrities around the world who recorded videos with a plea for fans to do their part to combat AIDS.

Zoe Saldana

The videos were released earlier this week by ONE, a global-anti-poverty organization co-founded by U2‘s frontman Bono, to commemorate World AIDS Day on December 1.

In her homemade video, Saldaña says, “It is very important that we unite and try to make a difference… whether through education or action.”

She goes on to add, “It is imperative that us as a human race come together to aid those in need and those family and children and women and men who are being affected today by this disease.”

Among other artists, who recorded similar videos, were Kellan Lutz, Anne Vyalitsyna and DJ Tiesto.

The campaign is open to all people around the world. They are free to share their personal opinions of what inspire them to join the fight through videos. Viewers are also given chances to sign a petition to support the life-saving programs to fight against AIDS.

Anahi Named Ambassador of Peace…

Mexican actress and singer Anahi is making history… She’s the first Latin American artist to join the Non Violence Foundation, an organization founded by Yoko Ono.

The 28-year-old former member of Latin Grammy-nominated pop group RBD made the announcement via her Twitter account. She’ll serve as an “ambassador of peace” for the organization, which promotes peace and non-violence throughout the world.

“It’s very important to me to be a part of this great cause,” wrote Anahi on her Twitter account. “Thank you for @NVPMexico and @yokoono for inviting me.”

Anahi joins a roster of high-profile musicians and artists involved with the organization including former Beatles members Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney, as well as U2 frontman Bono

Along with spreading the message of love and peace in Mexico, Brazil and throughout the world, Anahi has designed a non-violence sculpture as part of the group’s “Pistols for Peace” traveling exhibition, which opened in Guadalajara, Mexico today.

Click here to learn more about the project and join the organization’s “Imagine One Billion Faces For Peace” campaign.

Alba Drops the F-Bomb… for a Good Cause!

Break out the bar of soap! Jessica Alba has been caught on camera dropping the F-bomb…

Don’t worry though, it’s all for a good cause!

The Mexican-American actress appears in a new PSA created by the anti-poverty advocacy group ONE.

Titled “The F Word: Famine is the Real Obscenity,” the minute-long clip aims to bring attention to the devastating famine occurring in Somalia. Other celebrities appearing in the PSA include George Clooney, Bono, Rob Lowe, Joe Jonas and Colin Farrell.

The Horn of Africa, the peninsula in East Africa that’s home to Ethiopia and Somalia is currently experiencing the worst drought in more than 60 years and it’s threatening the lives of more than 12 million people.

“More than 30,000 children have died in just three months. Mothers are forced to decide who to feed and who to let die. In 2011? That’s obscene,” says U2 lead singer Bono. “There are things that can be done, and if we really believe the life of a child in East Africa is worth the same as the lives of our own children, we have to act.”

The PSA is calling for the African governments provide the $650 million needed for assistance, and to fulfill their commitment to invest $22 billion in agriculture for African governments.

Click here to show your support by signing ONE’s petition.