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Almodovar receives prestigious Spanish prize

Awarded the Prince of Asturias prize for his contribution to Spanish film
/ Source: The Associated Press

Pedro Almodovar has been awarded one of Spain’s highest honors — the Prince of Asturias prize — for his contribution to Spanish film, and the director said he was overwhelmed by the honor.

“It’s one of the most important prizes I’ve ever received,” said Almodovar at Madrid’s international airport Wednesday, just before boarding a flight to Cannes, France, for the annual film festival. “I feel overwhelmed.”

Almodovar was chosen “both for his expertise and the honesty of his work, and for the joy and vitality of his scripts, and above all for implanting his roots, which are ours, too, into the society of a planet on the verge of a nervous breakdown and which straddles two centuries,” said the jury that awards the arts prize.

His films include “Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown,” “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down,” “All About My Mother,” which won the Oscar for best foreign film in 2000, and “Talk to Her,” which won the Oscar for best original screenplay in 2003.

Almodovar’s latest movie, “Volver,” starring Penelope Cruz as a feisty young woman whose mother comes back from the dead to tie up loose ends, will compete at Cannes for the coveted Palme d’Or.

The Prince of Asturias awards are also given in the fields of writing, social sciences, scientific research, communications and humanities, international cooperation, public service and sports.

Named after Crown Prince Felipe, they are presented each fall in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the Asturias region. The awards carry a cash prize of about $62,000.