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The Princess of Asturias Foundation

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Princess of Asturias Awards


Martin Scorsese, Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts

American filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been granted the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award. 


American filmmaker Martin Scorsese has been granted the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts, as made public today in Oviedo by the Jury responsible for conferring said Award.

The Jury for this Award –convened by the Prince of Asturias Foundation– was chaired by José Lladó y Fernández-Urrutia and composed of Bárbara Allende Gil de Biedma, Ouka Leele, Juan Manuel Bonet Planes, María de Corral López-Dóriga, Carlos Fitz-James Stuart Martínez de Irujo, Duke of Alba, Sergio Gutiérrez Sánchez, Joan Matabosch Grifoll, Alfredo Pérez de Armiñán y de la Serna, Sandra Rotondo Urcola, Emilio Sagi Álvarez-Rayón, Aitana Sánchez-Gijón de Angelis, Patricia Urquiola Hidalgo, Aarón Zapico Braña, Miguel Zugaza Miranda and José Antonio Caicoya Cores (as acting secretary).

This candidature was put forward by José Luis Cienfuegos, director of the Seville European Film Festival.

Martin Scorsese (New York, 1942) was born into a family of Sicilian origin and grew up in the New York neighbourhood of Little Italy. He studied English Literature and Cinema Studies at New York University, a period in which he made numerous shorts and his first feature film, Who’s Knocking at My Door? (1967). In 1970, he worked as an assistant director and editor on the documentary Woodstock, subsequently achieving recognition by critics and the public with Mean Streets (1973), a film in which he directed Robert De Niro for the first time. Now a legendary figure in contemporary cinema, Martin Scorsese is one of the most outstanding filmmakers of the movement that emerged in the seventies called New Hollywood, which also includes other greats of world cinema such as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola –Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts 2015– and Steven Spielberg. He has directed twenty-four fiction feature films, fourteen documentaries and episodes of television series, as well as having participated as an actor in twenty films. He has authored films that now form part of the history of cinema, such as Mean Streets (1973), Taxi Driver (1976), Raging Bull (1980)–for which Robert De Niro won an Oscar–, Goodfellas (1990), Casino (1995), The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and The Departed (2006), with which he won his only Oscar for Best Director, a category for which he has been nominated nine times. A passionate reader, fourteen of his films are adaptations of literary works, from Raging Bull to The Wolf of Wall Street, as well as Taxi Driver, The Color of Money (1986), The Last Temptation of Christ (1988), Cape Fear (1991), The Age of Innocence (1993), Gangs of New York (2002) and Hugo (2011), among others. In 1990, he created The Film Foundation, an organization dedicated to film preservation and the exhibition of classic cinema that has already restored more than 800 films, in addition to organizing talks and screenings for students. He extended this work to international cinema by creating The World Cinema Foundation, now called the World Cinema Project, which has already restored thirty-one films from twenty-one different countries. His most recent initiative in this respect was the launching in 2017 of the African Film Heritage Project, through which he works together with the Pan African Federation of Filmmakers and UNESCO on the restoration and conservation of fifty films. In 2013, the Berlin Film and Television Museum put on an anthological exhibition of his work, for which Scorsese lent hundreds of objects from his private collection, including illustrations of the sequences of some of his films. In 2015, it was the turn of the Cinémathèque Française in Paris to give him a major show. His latest work, The Irishman, which will be his twenty-ninth feature film, is scheduled to be released in 2019 on the Netflix platform, which has acquired the rights.

Scorsese won his first major international award at the 1976 Cannes Film Festival with this event’s Palme d’Or for Taxi Driver, which has been followed by numerous other awards for his work. In summary, his films have garnered twenty Oscars in different categories, eleven Golden Globes and twenty-three BAFTAs. In addition, Scorsese holds honorary degrees from the University of Bologna (Italy) and the Lodz National Film School (Poland) and, among other distinctions, has received the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival (1995), the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award (1997), the Directors Guild of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2003), the Kennedy Center Honors (2007), the Cecil B. DeMille Award from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (2010) and the Lumière Award at the Grand Lyon Film Festival in 2015. In May 2018, he is to receive the Carrosse d’Or from the French Directors Guild in Cannes during the tribute to be given in his honour at the Directors’ Fortnight.

As stated in the Statutes of the Foundation, the Princess of Asturias Awards are aimed at rewarding “the scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out at an international level by individuals, institutions or groups of individuals or institutions”. In keeping with these principles, the Princess of Asturias Award for the Arts shall be aimed at recognizing “the work of fostering and advancing the art of film-making, theatre, dance, music, photography, painting, sculpture, architecture or any other form of artistic expression.” This year a total of 35 candidatures, from 21 different countries, have been nominated for this award.

This year, a total of 35 candidates, from 21 different countries, were nominated for the award.

This is the first of eight Princess of Asturias Awards, which are being bestowed this year for the thirty-eighth time. The rest of awards will be announced in the coming weeks in the following order: Communication and Humanities, International Cooperation, Sports, Literature, Social Sciences, Technical and Scientific Research and Concord.

Each of the Princess of Asturias Awards comprises a Joan Miró sculpture –representing and symbolizing the Awards–, a cash prize of 50,000 euros, a diploma and an insignia. The awards will be presented in the autumn in Oviedo at a solemn ceremony chaired by TM The King and Queen of Spain.

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