Madrid (AFP) – Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese on Wednesday won Spain’s top arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award, for a long and varied career that makes him “an indisputable figure in contemporary filmmaking”.
The 75-year-old “has directed more than 20 films that now form part of the history of cinema and continues to work unceasingly, masterfully combining innovation and classicism in his films,” the prize jury said in a statement.
With an Oscar for best director for “The Departed” and many other prizes, Scorsese had also “undertaken intense and wide-ranging work in recovering, restoring and disseminating historical film heritage throughout the world”, it said.
The acclaimed director of “Taxi Driver,” “Goodfellas” and “Casino” is co-founder of The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organisation which has helped restore over 800 films, including neglected movies from countries as varied as Indonesia and Senegal.
The Princess of Asturias Foundation hands its arts prize each year for a “contribution to the cultural heritage of mankind”, along with awards in seven other categories.
Other recent winners of the prize include US filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, US architect Frank Gehry and Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke.
The awards will be handed out at a ceremony hosted by Spain’s King Felipe VI and broadcast live on Spanish television in October.