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.

del Toro Accepts Lifetime Achievement Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival

Benicio del Toro is a film don(ostia)

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actor accepted the Donostia Award for lifetime achievement at the San Sebastian International Film Festival on Friday.

Benicio del Toro

In his acceptance speech, del Toro paid homage to his native Puerto Rico.

“I want to dedicate this award to the piece of land where I come from, where I was born, where I learned to throw rocks and had them first thrown at me,” del Toro said at the award ceremony. “Where I learned to take risks and where I learned not to do things just to do them.”

Cuban actor-director Jorge Perugorria introduced the Oscar-winning actor as a “rebel of the profession [of acting],” just before del Toro thanked the festival.

Del Toro received the award before the screening of his latest project, Andrea DiStefano‘s Escobar: Paradise Lost in the festival’s Pearls Selection.

Earlier in the day, he spoke to journalists about how he respected the actors and actresses who came before him, how Steven Soderbergh‘s Che was his most “complicated” role and how not to be thin-skinned in Hollywood.

“An actor has to have a short memory. There’s a lot of rejection, and you can’t wallow in it. You have to have a short memory,” del Toro said.

But del Toro proved to have a long memory when he told an anecdote about seeing a picture of a haggard fisherman and upon asking what had happened to him was told, “the effort.”

“I look at this prize and I answer the same to myself — the effort,” he said.

del Toro to Receive Lifetime Achievement Award at San Sebastian International Film Festival

Benicio del Toro is about to add another award to his collection…

The 48-year-old Puerto Rican actor and film producer and Oscar-winner will receive the Donostia Award for Lifetime Achievement at the San Sebastian International Film Festival.

Benicio del Toro III

del Toro’s latest film Escobar: Paradise Lostwill close the Pearls Selection at the festival, which runs September 19-27.

Escobar, written by Andrea di Stefano, tells the story of young surfer Nick who thinks he has landed in paradise when he falls in love with a Colombian girl on a visit to see his brother who is living in the South American country only to have it change when he meets her uncle, Pablo Escobar.

del Toro has confirmed that he’ll come to San Sebastian to present the film and receive the Donostia at the closing ceremony. Di Stefano, Josh Hutcherson and Carlos Bardem will also be present for the film’s Spanish premiere.

del Toro is a favorite at San Sebastian where he has accompanied films from his career.

del Toro won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic as well as an Oscar nomination for his work in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s 21 Grams.

del Toro re-teamed with Soderbergh to star in the biography of Che Guevera Che. The performance won him the Best Actor award at the Palme D’Or Closing Ceremony at the Cannes Film Festival in 2008, and again the following year at the Goya Awards in Madrid, Spain.

He starred opposite Emily Blunt and Anthony Hopkins in Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman and as Lado in Oliver Stone’s Savages.

del Toro was starred as Jimmy, the lead in Jimmy P. The film was screened at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. He was last seen in Guardians of the Galaxy a sci-fi action film for Walt Disney Pictures/Marvel Enterprises, which was released in the beginning of August 2014.

Next year he’ll play Mambru in Fernando Leon’s A Perfect Day and Sauncho Smilax in Inherent Vice, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

The actor is currently in production on Denis Villeneuve’s Sicaro.