The face of an upscale U.S. independent cinema which climaxed with “The English Patient” and a go-to actress for many of the world’s greatest directors from Krzysztof Kieślowski to Claire Denis, France’s Juliette Binoche will receive one of this year’s San Sebastian Donostia Awards, the Spanish festival’s prestigious plaudit for career achievement.
The Award will be presented to Binoche before a screening of Denis’ “Both Sides of the Blade,” a Silver Bear winner for best director at February’s Berlin Festival.
An actor with a prolific career reaching back to her first breakout in Philip Kaufman’s “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” – one of her many movies which have been literary adaptations – Binoche will also feature on the poster of this year’s 70th San Sebastian Film Festival, snapped by French photographer Brigitte Lacombe.
Binoche’s presence gives a first French touch to San Sebastián, a festival whose industry activity is fortified by a robust presence of French sales agents and a usually strong lineup of French nationality films playing in and outside competition.
Winner of an Academy Award for “The English Patient” and a Cesar for Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Blue,” she has appeared in a bracing set of key films from great auteurs, from Leos Carax’s “The Lovers on the Bridge” (1991) to Louis Malle’s Damage ( 1992) and then Lasse Hallström’s “Chocolat” (2000), Michael Haneke’s “Hidden” (2005), Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy” (2010), Oliver Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014) and Claire Denis’ “High Life” (2018).
The last film Binoche starred in which won at San Sebastian was 2021’s “Between Two Worlds,” from Emmanuel Carrère, which won the City of Donostia/San Sebastian Audience Award for Best European Film.
2022’s San Sebastian Festival runs Sept. 16-24.