From being one the most desired and highest-grossing actors to his descent into hell. Johnny Depp lived his sweetest moments under Tim Burton’s command and playing pirate Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean saga, but that did not prevent movies were he was the big star, such as Mortdecai from 2015 or the 2013 blockbuster The Lone Ranger from being box office flops. The worst would arrive with his ex Amber Heard’s restraining order, accusing the actor of domestic violence in May 2016. It also originated a harsh article in British newspaper The Sun calling him a “wife beater.”
Thus, it was to be expected that the announcement of one of the Donostia Awards, that aim to honor lifetime achievement, at this edition of the San Sebastián International Film Festival was going to be controversial.
The first official reaction has been from Cristina Andreu, the President of Spain’s Association of Female Filmmakers and Audiovisual Media, who in a statement covered by Associated Press stated to be “very surprised” by this decision, announced on Monday. She also added that this “speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership, and transmits a terrible message to the public: ‘It doesn’t matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor’.”
The association, which maintains close links with the festival, is “studying next steps,” as stated in the same piece of information.
Cristina Andreu has confirmed her words in a statement to the EFE news agency, keeping in mind that Depp is still amidst a court battle: “It is still in the process. We believe in the presumption of innocence, but it seems that in some places he has been convicted or at least when he had said that she (his ex-wife and whistleblower, also the actress Amber Heard) had lied, some courts have said no. Simply what we say is that this is not the time to get an award, until you really know what has happened.”
In turn, Depp filed a libel suit against News Group Newspapers, owner of tabloid The Sun. A trial that he lost when a London High Court judge ruled, last November, that what was written in the article was “substantially true.”
The famous actor has visited the Spanish festival on two occasions. The first was in 1998 to present, along with director Terry Gilliam, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The second in the last edition, as one of the producers of the documentary Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, the Irish singer of the Pogues.
The Donostia Award ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday September 22, but before that he will also be attending the Karlovy Vary Festival to collect another prize in late August.
Photo credit: Raymond Flotat