Martin Scorsese is to receive the prestigious Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award, handed out annually by the Japan Arts Association.

American photographer Cindy Sherman, French sculptor Annette Messager, Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, and Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha also

The organization described Scorsese as “one of the most important filmmakers of his generation,” making “frequently gritty, violent movies that explore the dark side of American society.” It noted that his works also take on moral and religious issues including “faith, temptation, sin and atonement.” And it commended him for establishing The Film Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of films.

The $143,000 (JPY15 million) prize will be presented in Tokyo on Oct. 18

Scorsese’s latest film project, “Silence,” is based on the novel by the Japanese author Shusaku Endo, and will be released later this year in the U.S. and other territories. It is penciled in for release in Japan in 2017.

“The Praemium Imperiale honors the greatest artists of our time,” said Hisashi Hieda, chairman of the Japan Art Association. “Their glorious creations remind us that art is a universal language, bridging geographic boundaries and enhancing all our lives.”

Previous winners include Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard, Akira Kurosawa, David Hockney, Ravi Shankar, Norman Foster and Frank Gehry.