Johnny Depp To Receive The Donostia Award From San Sebastian Film Festival

Johnny Depp is going to receive the San Sebastian Film Festival's highest honor, the Donostia Award. Depp will receive the Donostia Award in a ceremony held on September 22nd, as the Kursaal Auditorium. In a statement, the European film festival names Depp as "one of contemporary cinema's most talented and versatile actors", putting him in the esteemed company of past Donostia winners like Sigourney Weaver, Penelope Cruz, Viggo Mortensen, Ethan Hawke, and Dame Judi Dench. Depp has attended the festival for past works and has recently starred in the biopic drama Minamata. Needless to say, the news of Depp getting this honor is already stirring up controversy.

The notion of Johnny Depp being given prestigious recognition goes against the current popular trend of "canceling" Depp due to the allegations against him by ex-wife Amber Heard. After Depp lost his libel suit against UK tabloid The Sun over being called a "wife-beater," his public image took a nosedive. It wasn't long before Disney moved Depp out of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise he helped make a global hit; Warner Bros. has also recast Depp with Mads Mikkelsen as the main villain in the Harry Potter spinoff franchise, Fantastic Beasts.

The battle is not over yet: Depp recently won a legal cast against Heard, involving her supposed donation of $7 million that Depp paid in their divorce settlement. Heard posited that her suit against Depp wasn't financially motivated (hence the donation), something Depps legal team disputes. Now Heard could be legally liable to produce the receipts for that money. It's all part of Depp's fight to reclaim his public honor, as he maintains his innocence, claiming that Heard was the abuser in their relationship. The two stars' divorce has split fans into warring camps, and become a lightning rod for the big social issues surrounding domestic abuse in the last few years (#MeToo).

Johnny Depp Loses Libel Case Against The Sun Amber Heard Abuse

THR reached out to the San Sebastian Film Festival's director, José Luis Rebordinos about Depp's controversies, and got the following response:

"The role of a film festival is not to judge the conduct of members of the film industry. The role of a film festival is to select the most relevant and interesting films of the year and to extend recognition to those who have made an extraordinary contribution to the art of film. The Donostia Award to Johnny Depp is our recognition of a great actor, a man of cinema with a great career, who visited us last year as producer of the film Crock of Gold: A Few Round With Shane Macgowan by Julien Temple, which won the Special Jury Prize."

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The San Sebastian Film Festival opened last year's festival with Woody Allen's latest film, Rifkin's Festival.