7-31-09, 9:54 am
HAVANA, Cuba, Jul 31 (acn) Puerto Rican actor Benicio del Toro received on Thursday the Tomas Gutierrez Alea Award, granted by the Cuban Union of Writers and Artists (UNEAC). The award, consisting of a work by painter Agustin Bejarano, was given to del Toro by UNEAC president Miguel Barnet, in a ceremony held at the Martinez Villena Hall in this institution.
Accompanying del Toro were other outstanding Hollywood actors like Robert Duvall, James Caan and Bill Murray, producers Steve Bing and Laura Bickford.
The Puerto Rican star said he would share this award with the Cuban artists, since all of them are on the same ship and that he feels very proud to accept the distinction because Gutierrez Alea was one of the professionals that influenced him the most, since he saw his movie ‘Death of a Bureaucrat’.
Benicio said he had not had the good fortune of meeting Alea personally, but he had met several of his disciples, such as Daisy Granados, Jorge Perugorria and Luis Alberto Garcia.
Meanwhile, Barnet said that it was a bright afternoon in which they all met a group of important US and Puerto Rican actors; he stressed the occasion revealed the respect felt for the American and Caribbean culture despite the obstacles, like the US blockade against Cuba.
Perugorria, who worked along del Toro in Steven Soderbergh’s 'Che,' highlighted the human side of the Puerto Rican actor, of whom he praised his professionalism and his commitment not only to current social and political causes, but also to the history and reality of the Latin American countries and the rest of the world.
The entertainment was provided by pianist Guillermo Tuzzio who played a selection of domestic and international works, and who was spontaneously accompanied by Bill Murray when he played the soundtrack of mythical 'Casablanca.'
From the Cuban News Agency