Two days ago, the renowned film festival in San Sebastian, northern Spanish, announced that it would award US actor Johnny Depp the Premio Donostia honorary prize in September. But the decision is controversial. The President of the Spanish Association of Women in Cinema and Audiovisual Media (CIMA), Cristina Andreu, considers it inappropriate to award the prize as long as Depp is in a process. He is accused of domestic violence. The presumption of innocence applies, Andreu told the EFE news agency. “We’re just saying it’s not the right time to give him an award until we really know what happened.”
The management of the festival, which will take place for the 69th time from 17 to 25 September 2021, had announced that it would honour the “Pirates of the Caribbean” star as “one of the most talented and versatile actors in contemporary cinema” in a ceremony on 22 September.
Andreu was surprised by the news. The prize stands for a career. For them, the case would be different if, for example, a film with Depp in the leading role were to win the jury prize. “But for an entire career, at this point, we don’t think it’s appropriate.”
Festival director: Film art to be honoured
On the other hand, the director of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, José Luis Rebordinos, told EFE that the festival’s function is not to judge the behaviour of filmmakers, “but to pay tribute to those people who have made an extraordinary contribution to the art of film”.
Meanwhile, the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which will take place from August 20 to 28 in The Bohemian Karlovy Vary, also stated that in addition to Michael Caine, Johnny Depp will also be awarded the honorary prize.
Years of litigation
Supporters of Johnny Depp in front of the courthouse in London
Depp, who has been nominated for an Oscar three times and has won a Golden Globe among many other awards, has been embroiled in a legal battle with his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, for years. She accuses him of becoming violent towards her.
After the British tabloid newspaper “Sun” had described Depp as a “woman thug”, the 58-year-old had taken action against the paper for delander. But the court found that the newspaper’s allegations against Depp were “essentially true” and that twelve of the 14 assaults attributed to him had “taken place.”
Once upon a time: Johnny Depp as Gellert Grindelwald in “Fantastic Beasts”
Most recently, Warner Bros. had decided to remove Depp from the cast of the third part of “Fantastic Beasts”. The role was eventually taken over by the Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen. The film, written and produced by “Harry Potter” author J. K. Rowling, is scheduled to hit theaters in 2022.