This evening, Greek-French film director and producer Costa-Gavras was awarded the 29th Catalunya International Prize for “the quality of his extensive filmography, his critical outlook on the world and his social commitment”.
This is the first time the award is conferred to a filmmaker, thus recognising cinematography as one of the greater forms of artistic representation. According to the jury, the artist’s films “transcend their own historical context and have become universal symbols against intolerance, repression and the absence of freedoms”.
President Carles Puigdemont, who presided over this year’s ceremony, highlighted the importance of the filmmaker’s “critical outlook” as it “questions, affects and moves the spectator through the anger caused by injustices as well as the admiration for just men”.
“Our present also knows the behaviours typical of the totalitarian regimes portrayed by Costa-Gavras”, explained the President, “today, they have refined their perversion to be more effective. “Populisms, totalitarianism in disguise, manipulations and deceit often accompany the way in which some states, technically democratic ones, mock our freedoms”, Puigdemont affirmed.
In this regard, the President described Costa-Gavras’ films as “very useful” because they unmask “the farces that hide behind state abuses and the systems that support them”.
In his acceptance speech, the artist expressed his appreciation and thanked the President, the jury and the country for having awarding him the Catalunya International Prize, which “besides the great honour that it represents for me, is an immense encouragement to continue making the films that I like doing”, he stated.
The Catalunya Interantional Prize
The Catalunya International Prize (Premi Internacional Catalunya) is awarded annually by the Government of Catalonia to distinguish those whom have made a significant contribution to the development of cultural, scientific, or human values around the world. Past recipients of the award include Aung San Suu Kyi, Jimmy Carter, Karl Popper, Jacques Delors, Amartya Sen, Malala Yousafzai, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and, more recently, British Primatologist Jane Goodall.
This year’s edition of the Catalunya International Prize included a selection of 141 candidates from 57 countries and the award ceremony, held at the Palau de la Generalitat, was attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Institutional Relations and Transparency, Raül Romeva, the Minister of Business and Knowledge, Santi Vila, the Consulate General of France in Barcelona, Edouard Beslay and the president of the Catalan Film Academy, Isona Passola.