In a ceremony at the Kursaal last night, the president of the Festival Official Jury, the American filmmaker Alexander Payne, had the honour of presenting Judi Dench with the third of this year’s Donostia awards, to add to the great many major accolades that she has gathered for her work on stage, television and screen in her long, brilliant career, which includes several BAFTA awards, Golden Globes, numerous Laurence Olivier awards as well as an Academy Award.
After receiving a standing ovation from the audience in the Kursaal, the great British actress made a short speech. “I must apologise as I don’t speak your language. It’s shameful but I’m going to speak to you in English. I first came here when I was 15 with my parents and I never thought then that I’d become an actress, or that one day I’d be standing here receiving such an incredible award. I’m so grateful to everyone working at the Festival. I appreciate it very much, and when I go home, I’ll boast about it to everyone”.