Martin Scorsese wins Spain’s highest arts prize

Martin Scorsese has been honoured for his iconic cinematic career with the Princess of Asturias award. (AFP pic)

OVIEDO: Hollywood legend Martin Scorsese on Wednesday won Spain’s¬†highest arts prize, the Princess of Asturias award, for a long and varied career that makes him “an indisputable figure in contemporary film-making”.

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 all over the world.

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.