LONDON — Benicio Del Toro, who looks set to play the baddie in “Star Wars: Episode VIII,” will be the good guy at the Sarajevo Film Festival next month, when he will receive the Bosnian festival’s Heart of Sarajevo Award for his contribution to the art of cinema.
Previous recipients for the award, which was designed by French designer, filmmaker and festival patron Agnes B, include Angelina Jolie, Gael Garcia Bernal and Steve Buscemi.
Del Toro will present Fernando Leon de Aranoa’s drama “A Perfect Day,” in which he has a starring role alongside Tim Robbins and Olga Kurylenko, at the festival’s open-air screening venue, where Del Toro will receive the award in front of a 3,000-strong crowd. The film premiered in Directors’ Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival.
The actor will also hold a master class for the participants of Talents Sarajevo, a networking and training platform for emerging film professionals from South-East Europe and the Southern Caucasus.
Del Toro won an Academy Award for supporting actor for his role in Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic,” and an Oscar nomination for his work in Alejandro Gonzales Inarritu’s “21 Grams.” Reteaming with Soderbergh to star in “Che,” the biography of Che Guevera, Del Toro’s performance won him the best actor award at Cannes in 2008.
Del Toro can be seen next starring in Denis Villeneuve’s “Sicario,” alongside Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin, which is scheduled for a Sept. 18 release by Lionsgate in the U.S.