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Donald Sutherland: ’’It is a great joy to be here with you’’


Donald Sutherland (Saint John, New Brunswick, 1935) has received the second Donostia Award at the 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival, which paid tribute to the actor for an excellent career spanning fifty years. The Canadian actor received the Festival’s highest honorary distinction from its Director, José Luis Rebordinos.

Before receiving the statuette, Donald Sutherland said thank you several times in Basque (“mila esker, Euskal Herria”) to the audience in the Kursaal as they gave him a standing ovation. "It’s such a pleasure, a delight to be in the Basque Country. I have huge respect for you and it is a great joy to be here with you. Mila esker, Euskal Herria”, said the actor.

Capable of shining with the same intensity either as the lead character or in a supporting role, Sutherland has shown great talent when embodying dozens of characters, with no regard for genre: from drama to war movies, including thrillers, horror and science fiction films. Despite never having received a Hollywood Academy Award nomination for any of his myriad parts, in 2017 he was presented with an Honorary Academy Award for his acting career.

Donald Sutherland is one of the most respected, prolific and versatile of motion picture actors, with an astonishing resume of well over one hundred and fifty films, including such classics as Robert Aldrich’s The Dirty Dozen; Robert Altman’s M.A.S.H.; John Schlesinger’s The Day of the Locust; Robert Redford’s Ordinary People; Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1900; Philip Kaufman’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers; Nicolas Roeg’s Don’t Look Now with Julie Christie; Alan Pakula’s Klute with Jane Fonda; Federico Fellini’s Fellini’s Casanova and Brian Hutton’s Kelly’s Heroes with Clint Eastwood (who later directed him in Space Cowboys).

Presented by the journalist Edurne Ormazabal, the gala took place this evening in the Kursaal, immediately followed by a screening of The Burnt Orange Heresy. Its director, Giuseppe Capotondi, presented this thriller in which Sutherland features in the cast alongside Claes Bang, Elizabeth Debicki and Mick Jagger.

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