US filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has been named the 2015 recipient of the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts for his lifetime contribution to cinema.
The creator of such classics as Apocalypse Now and The Godfather will join a prestigious list of names from the realms of science, technology, arts and the humanities who have received the prize, including fellow directors Woody Allen and Michael Haneke.
Formerly known as the Prince of Asturias Awards, the 35-year-old prizes’ name was changed after Crown Prince Felipe became the king of Spain in June of last year, passing the heir title on to his eldest daughter Leonor.
One of the highest honors granted in Spain, the Princess of Asturias Award was one of the few major prizes that Coppola had yet to win, after earning five Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and two Palmes d’Or – this latter feat is only shared by six other movie directors.
The jury described Coppola, 76, as “an outstanding narrator,” who has revitalized both the themes and form of cinema, thus becoming “essential for understanding the transformation and contradictions of the industry and art of filmmaking.”
The jury described Coppola as “an outstanding narrator,” who has revitalized the themes and form of cinema
“His career has been a continuous struggle to maintain total independence as a creator and entrepreneur in all the facets he has cultivated as a director, producer and screenwriter,” said the jury’s release.
“His explorations of power and the horrors and absurdity of war have extended beyond his work as an artist, becoming universal icons of contemporary collective imagery and culture.”
This is the first of eight awards that will be announced in the coming weeks by the Oviedo-based Princess of Asturias Foundation. The prize-giving ceremony will be held in the fall.