Veteran filmmaker Costa-Gavras will receive a lifetime achievement Donostia Award at this year’s 67th edition of the San Sebastian International Film Festival, which runs Sept. 20-28.
The festival will also host a special screening of the director’s adaptation of former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis’ memoirs about his country’s financial crisis, Adults in the Room.
The director will be fresh off receiving the Jaeger-LeCoultre Glory to the Filmmaker award and screening the film out of competition in Venice.
In a statement, San Sebastian said it “applauds the militant cinema of the author of movies including Z, Missing and Capital, with which he competed for the Golden Shell in 2012.”
Costa-Gavras’ career spans more than five decades and two dozen films tackling many political themes. He has been president of the Cinematheque Francaise since 2007.
The Donostia honor was created in 1986 to recognize outstanding contributions to world cinema. Spanish actress Penelope Cruz, who is gracing this year’s festival poster, is another 2019 Donostia recipient. Last year’s honorees were actors Judy Dench and Danny DeVito, as well as Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda.
Said Costa-Gavras: “You never forget the country of your birth, especially when it is a country like Greece.” He added: “I fled my country because, back then, all it offered to young people of my social class was a life of submission to a theocratic-democracy. As an immigrant, France allowed me to surpass my wildest dreams. My ‘Greekness’ took hold of me again when the Colonels seized power. The expression of my personal resistance was Z. Ten years ago, the Greek crisis plunged the country back into the same situation that made me flee in the first place. And this, of course, made me want to express my revolt once again, with Adults in the Room.”