Javier Bardem will receive a Donostia Award at the 71st edition of the San Sebastian Festival. The Spanish actor will take to the spotlight on two occasions: as well as receiving the Festival’s most important honorary accolade, which has been recognising the career and contribution of great figures from the world of cinema since 1986, he will also provide the image for the official poster of the coming edition.
The award ceremony will take place during the opening gala of the 71st edition, on Friday 22 September at the Kursaal Auditorium, thirty years down the line from Bardem’s first visit to the Festival for the Official Selection screening of Huevos de oro / Golden Balls, Bigas Luna in 1993.
Javier Bardem (Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, 1969) is currently the Spanish actor to enjoy the greatest international recognition, having garnered more than a hundred awards, including an Academy Award®, a Golden Globe and a BAFTA for No Country for Old Men (2007), the Goyas for his work in Días Contados / Numbered Days (1994), Boca a boca / Mouth to Mouth (1995), Los lunes al sol / Mondays in the Sun, (2002), Mar adentro / The Sea Inside, (2004), Biutiful (2010) and El buen patrón / The Good Boss (2021), and for best documentary as the producer of Hijos de las nubes, la última colonia / Sons of the Clouds, the Last Colony (2012). He also boasts accolades from the European Film Academy, the Platino Awards and the leading festivals: Best Actor at Cannes (Biutiful, 2010), the Volpi Cup in Venice (Before Night Falls, 2000 and Mar adentro / The Sea Inside, 2004 and San Sebastian’s Silver Shell (for Días Contados and El detective y la muerte / The Detective and Death) in 1994.
San Sebastian has seen the actor’s career evolve over the last three decades thanks to his twenty-something visits. From the first, with Huevos de oro / Golden Balls (Bigas Luna, Official Selection, 1993) to the last, with El buen patrón / The Good Boss (Fernando León de Aranoa, Official Selection, 2021), and including his Silver Shell for Best Actor for Días contados (Imanol Uribe) and El detective y la muerte (Gonzalo Suárez), in 1994, his collaborations with Pedro Almodóvar and Álex de la Iglesia (Perdita Durango -Velodrome - and Carne trémula / Live Flesh -Made in Spain, in 1997 and 1998) and presentation of the Donostia Award to John Malkovich (1998). The Festival witnessed the launch of his international career with the screening of Before Night Falls (Julian Schnabel, Zabaltegi-Pearls), presentation of the Donostia Award to Robert de Niro in 2000 and again, two years later, with The Dancer Upstairs (John Malkovich, Zabaltegi-Pearls). We also watched his career go from strength to strength with Los lunes al sol / Mondays in the Sun (Fernando León de Aranoa, Official Selection, 2002), Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Woody Allen, Zabaltegi-Pearls) in 2008, his recognition with the National Cinematography Prize that same year, when he gave the Donostia Award to Julia Roberts and joined her to present Eat Pray Love (Ryan Murphy, Official Selection out of competition, 2010). And we have seen him work as a producer in Hijos de las nubes, la última colonia, Made in Spain, 2012), Bigas x Bigas (Official Selection Special Screening, 2016), Loving Pablo (Pearls, 2017) and Sanctuary (2019).
Javier Bardem is the sixth Spanish actor to receive the Festival’s most important honorary accolade, following Fernando Fernán Gómez (1999), Paco Rabal (2001), Antonio Banderas (2008), Carmen Maura (2013) and Penélope Cruz (2019).
In 2018 the Festival introduced a new line of posters, each featuring a figure from the contemporary movie world. Isabelle Huppert, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Sigourney Weaver and Juliette Binoche have preceded Bardem as our official image, developed this year by the advertising agency Dimensión from two photographs by the photographer Nico Bustos. By superimposing the images using the maculature technique, the poster pays tribute to Javier Bardem’s ability to slip into another’s skin as he morphs into his characters.
Dimensión is also the creator of the posters for the other Festival sections. Together with the photographer José Luis López de Zubiria, the agency has turned to visual rhetoric to create surprising associations between certain objects and the specific attributes that define each section: boldness in the case of New Directors, the energy of Horizontes Latinos, the unexpected in Zabaltegi-Tabakalera, the select choices of Perlak, the temerity of Nest, the legacy of Culinary Zinema and the identity of Zinemira.
Tickets for the opening and closing galas at the 71st edition will go on sale at the beginning of September.
The Festival is possible thanks to the collaboration and enthusiasm of many people and companies, including:
The San Sebastian Festival would like to thank the Festival de Málaga, the Ministry of Culture and Sports through ICAA, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation through ICEX, for their involvement in the initiative "Spanish Screenings: Financing & Tech", organised by the Festival, and which is in the framework of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan.
And thanks to the members of the Board of Directors of the Sociedad Anónima Festival de San Sebastián: Spanish Government Ministry of Culture, Basque Government Department of Culture, Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa and San Sebastian City Council.