Last night Antonio Banderas received the first of this year’s Donostia Awards from his old friend and mentor Pedro Amodovar in a ceremony hosted by Edurne Ormazabal in the Kursaal. The Oscar-winning Spanish director had introduced Banderas by recalling how as soon as he saw him he knew he was born to act, and he stressed his animal magnetism and physical attractiveness as well as the beauty that he exuded when he acted.
After a brief overview of his career in clips a clearly-moved Banderas came on stage to embrace Almodóvar. He claimed that his association with the Festival was a metaphor for his career. 26 years ago he had come here with Almodóvar; later he had returned with big productions like The Mask of Zorro and then he had come back again with films like Crazy in Alabama he had directed himself.
After quoting from Paolo Coelho’s The Manual of the Warrior of Light to express his gratitude to all his fellow actors and friends, he closed the proceedings by dedicating the award to three people: the extraordinary actor Javier Bardem, a man utterly committed to his profession; a woman who gave up her own professional career to raise a family, his wife, the actress Melanie Grifiths; and finally the man he loved the most, his father, who had passed away this year.