MADRID — Pedro Almodovar actress and muse Carmen Maura will receive a career achievement Donostia Award at this Septemberâs 61st San Sebastian Film Festival.
The award ceremony will coincide with an out-of-competition screening of Mauraâs latest film, Alex de la Iglesiaâs witchcraft comedy âWitching & Bitching,â which Universal Pictures Intl. will release in Spain Sept. 27.
The Donostia Award has traditionally focused on high-profile prestige Hollywood names: Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and Robert de Niro, for example.
Maura is just the fourth Spanish figure to receive the award, after director-scribe-thesp Fernando Fernan Gomez, Bunuel leading man Francisco Rabal and Antonio Banderas.
MauraÂ broke through in short films made in the last years of Francisco Francoâs dictatorship and, after his death in 1975, was a leading actress in movies that took advantage of newly won Â freedoms.
A star of Fernando Colomoâs âPaper Tigers,â a portrait of middle-class Spaniards' muddled adaptation to liberty, Maura was a driving force in persuading Almodovar to shoot his first commercial feature, âPepi, Luci, Bom and a Whole Lot of Other Girls,â and starred in most of his early films through to the Oscar-nominated âWomen on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.â
Demonstrating an ability to combine Almodovarâs characteristic genre-grafting mix of drama, comedy and melodrama, Maura went on to enjoy a successful career in both Spain and France, where she co-starred in hits such as Philippe Leguayâs âThe Women on the Sixth Floor.â
At least one other Donostia Award will be announced this summer.
Emiliano de Pablos contributed to this report.