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Spanish filmmakers furious at Johnny Depp award. Association says honour sends ‘terrible’ message

Jack Troughton | August 11, 2021
Johnny Depp Amber Heard

WOMEN in Spain’s film industry are furious at the decision to hand Hollywood actor Johnny Depp a prestigious award at this year’s San Sebastian film festival.

They condemned the decision to give the Pirates of the Caribbean star the top award after a British judge ruled allegations of domestic violence were “substantially correct”.

Cristina Andreu, president of the Spanish association of female filmmakers and audio-visual media, admitted to being “very surprised” at the decision to honour the actor the Donostia Award at the festival’s 69 th edition next month.

The award is the event’s premier prize and is intended to mark a lifetime’s
achievement in cinema. Andreu said: “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 festival runs from September 17 to 25 and Depp is expected to appear in person to accept the award on September 22; his third career appearance at the event.

Last year Depp lost a high-profile libel case against British newspaper The Sun in the High Court which accused him of abusing his former wife Amber Heard, the judge ruling the allegations were “substantially correct” – in March this year he was refused permission to appeal by a UK court saying the action would have “no real prospect of success”.