Penelope Cruz, winner of the Coppa Volpi at the Venice Film Festival. | Reuters (Yara Nardi)

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Actress Penelope Cruz has been distinguished with the 2022 National Film Award. The jury was unanimous in recognising her successes in 2021 on top of those achieved during an "exceptional career".

Spain's ministry of culture, which makes the award, notes that she has received more Oscar nominations than any other Spanish actor or actress - four - and that she last year became the first Spanish actress to win the Coppa Volpi at the Venice Film Festival.

Among other recognition, the ministry notes that Penelope Cruz has been nominated thirteen times for a Goya award and has won three. "She is one of the visible heads of a generation, that of the '90s, which led to a renewal of Spanish cinema. She has acted in many emblematic and internationally acclaimed films.

"Her enormous talent and versatility have opened the doors to her to collaborate with filmmakers from all over the world while also maintaining a firm link with Spanish cinema. Committed to her craft, she seeks excellence in her work, thanks to which she has created some of the most unforgettable characters in the history of our cinema. For all these reasons, Penelope Cruz is an iconic actress whose brilliant legacy enriches Spanish cultural heritage."