MADRID — San Sebastian Festival has announced the third and final recipient of this year’s Donostia career achievement awards, Canadian actor Donald Sutherland. He will accept the honor before screening his latest film, Guiseppe Capotondi’s “The Burnt Orange Heresy.”
With more than 200 credited performances over the past half-century, Sutherland stands tall, literally and figuratively, as a major figure in world cinema. The actor was nominated eight times for a Golden Globe, in 2017 received an honorary Oscar for career achievement and in 2019 was named a Companion of the Order of Canada, one of the country’s most prestigious honors.
Sutherland first studied engineering before catching the acting bug and bouncing around performing arts schools in Canada and the U.K. It wasn’t long before the young actor made his way to screens in living rooms across the English-speaking world in popular series such as “The Saint” and “The Avengers.” Not those ones, kids.
Better known for his illustrious film career, Sutherland has appeared in a wide-ranging string of box office hits including his breakout role in ‘67’s “The Dirty Dozen.” Other popular hits include, but are nowhere near limited to, Cold War classic “The Bedford Incident,” “M.A.S.H.” – which earned him his first Golden Globe nod, “Ordinary People,” “Don’t LookNow,” “JFK,” “Path to War” and 2005’s “Pride & Prejudice.” More recently, he featured as President Snow in the popular “The Hunger Games” films. Yes, those ones kids.
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Sutherland has also appeared three times alongside his equally-famous son Keifer. The two can be seen in 1983’s “”Max Dugan Returns,” when Keifer was just a child, as well as 1996’s “A Time to Kill.” But, the first time the two shared the screen in a scene was in 2015’s “Forsaken,” which premiered at the Toronto Film Festival that year.
Of his many virtues as an actor, what stands out perhaps most is Sutherland’s versatility. Few actors have managed so well to alternate turns in explosive war films, intimate romances, gut-busting comedies and subtle independent festival fare. Having shown no signs of slowing down, this year the actor has appeared in “American Hangman,” James Gray’s “Ad Astra,” TV series “The Undoing” and the aforementioned “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” which will close the Venice Film Festival on Sept 8.
The 67th edition of the San Sebastian Festival runs Sept 20-28, with Sutherland set to receive his award on Thursday, Sept. 26.