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SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain – Star power beamed from the Kursaal Auditorium Sunday night as the San Sebastian International Film Festival awarded Donostia lifetime achievement awards to Oliver Stone and John Travolta in a two-in-one-night tribute to celebrate the 60th edition of the festival.
Hailed as a legendary actor, international success and pop icon by the festival as it screened scenes from his film career, Travolta took the Donostia Award from the hands of colleague Benecio del Toro, who called him “a simple person” and “synonymous with cool.”
“So much energy is spent in the nullification and invalidation of other people. So if some group of people get together to pat you on the back and say good job, I’ll take it,” Travolta told reporters about receiving the award. “And thank you.”
Immediately afterwards, Del Toro was called to the stage to hand Stone a special edition 60th Anniversary Donostia Award for what he called “representing as no one else a fearless, committed filmmaking that shows reality without adornments or lies.”
“You have a gigantic heart, San Sebastian,” Stone said as he thanked the festival for its support of his career for the past 25 years. “This is a beautiful city, with beautiful people, and culture.”
Earlier in the day, the three men talked to the media about Stone’s latest work Savages, starring Travolta and Del Toro, about the marijuana business. The film is screening in the festival’s Zabaltegi-Pearls section.
“Marijuana is healthy and a great gift from the gods. It can be a boon to humanity. No need to make it into a war,” Stone said, suggesting the U.S. government uses the drug war to spy on countries and militarize governments.
Switching to the experience of working together, Travolta said “when you walk onto a scene where Oliver Stone and Benecio del Toro are working, you know that’s why you do movies.”
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