The San Sebastian International Film Festival on Friday unveiled the first of its annual Donostia Awards, for Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, who will also grace the festival's official poster for its upcoming 67th edition, which runs Sept. 20-Sept. 28.
Spain's most internationally recognized actress, Cruz has been a regular presence at San Sebastian for more than two decades. Since 1994, she has starred in as many as a dozen 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 (199) and Sergio Castellito's Twice Born (2012).
In 2017, Cruz and husband Javier Bardem presented their film Loving Pablo to a packed audience as the closing film of the festival. She is the fifth Spanish actor to receive the Donostia Prize, preceded by Fernando Fernan Gomez (1999), Paco Rabal (2001), Antonio Banderas (2008) and Carmen Maura (2013).
Cruz is currently starring in compatriot Pedro Almodovar's Pain & Glory, which is playing in competition at the Cannes Film Festival. She was the first Spanish actress to win a best supporting actress Oscar for her work in Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona, and she shared the best actress award at Cannes as well as an honorary Cesar for Volver. Both these films also played 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," festival director Jose Luis Rebordinos said in a statement.
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