Oliver Stone to be Honored at San Sebastian Film Festival

Oliver Stone
Kurt Iswarienko

“It’s a cruel, cruel world,” Stone tells THR. “You can’t avoid the coldness and the cruelty of it. I was born warm and couldn’t handle that. But now I’m older; I realize it’s nature. I want to find the beauty in it. If I can make poetry, it makes it all tolerable.”

John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro will accompany the director to the fest for the premiere of "Savages."

MADRID – Oliver Stone will receive the Donostia Lifetime Achievement Award at the 60th San Sebastian International Film Festival, organizers announced Monday, calling him “one of the most emblematic makers of modern American film thanks to his treatment of red-hot social and political topics and his powerful visual style.”

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Stone will pick up the award Sept. 23 at the old-world Victoria Eugenia theater as he presents his latest work Savages, for the Spanish premiere at the festival, alongside John Travolta and Benicio Del Toro.

Stone has visited the San Sebastian Festival on four occasions, with Salvador, Natural Born Killers and World Trade Center and with his documentary Looking for Fidel (2004) in Zabaltegi Specials.

Stone’s latest film, Savages, is a fast-moving thriller based on Don Winslow's hard-boiled best seller and featuring a star-studded cast headlined by Travolta, Del Toro, Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor Johnson, Salma Hayek, Emile Hirsch and Demian Bichir.

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The film tells the tale of two Laguna Beach entrepreneurs Ben (Johnson), a peaceful and charitable Buddhist, and his closest friend Chon (Kitsch), a former Navy SEAL and ex-mercenary. They run a lucrative, homegrown industry: raising some of the best marijuana ever developed. They also share a one-of-a-kind love with the extraordinary beauty Ophelia (Lively). Life is idyllic in their Southern California town…until the Mexican Baja Cartel decides to move in and demands that the trio partnerswith them.

San Sebastian runs Sept. 21-29 in Spain’s northern Basque region.