San Sebastian International Film Festival officials have decided to grant Johnny Depp with their highest accolade amid his ongoing legal troubles.
Executives of the Spanish festival announced on Monday that the Pirates of the Caribbean star would receive its Donostia Award during an awards ceremony at the Kursaal Auditorium on 22 September.
Depp, who they described as “one of contemporary cinema’s most talented and versatile actors”, will appear in person to collect the achievement award, marking the third time he has visited the festival.
The decision to honour him with the award is likely to ruffle some feathers as it comes amid his fall from grace following a legal blow last year.
The Edward Scissorhands star lost his libel case against U.K. tabloid The Sun over a reference to allegations he was violent towards his then-wife Amber Heard, and he subsequently lost his bid to overturn the ruling. He is still engaged in a multi-million dollar defamation lawsuit against Heard in the U.S.
Depp lost his role as Gellert Grindelwald in the Fantastic Beasts franchise as a result of the libel verdict, and director Andrew Levitas recently accused studio officials at MGM of “burying” the U.S. release of his movie Minamata, in which Depp plays war photographer W. Eugene Smith, due to his leading man’s legal battles. MGM bosses insisted they still plan to release the movie.
San Sebastian officials are no strangers to controversy, as they decided to open the 2020 edition of the film extravaganza with Rifkin’s Festival, directed by disgraced filmmaker Woody Allen.
Recent recipients of the Donostia Award include Ethan Hawke, Sigourney Weaver, Judi Dench, Penelope Cruz, and Viggo Mortensen.
The San Sebastian International Film Festival runs from 17 to 25 September.
– Cover Media