Francis Ford Coppola To Receive £100K Arts Prize, Does He Really Need The Cash?

Francis Ford Coppola is set to be honoured in one of the world's biggest arts prize-givings at a presentation ceremony next month. The Oscar-winning director will be one of five awarded this year's Praemium Imperiale, a Japanese arts prize that's worth 15 million yen (£95K/$151K).

Francis Ford Coppola
Francis Ford Coppola Is To Receive One Of This Year's Biggest Art Prizes.

The veteran filmmaker will join British sculptor Anthony Gormley, Spanish opera singer Placido Domingo, British architect David Chipperfield, and Italian painter Michelangelo Pistoletto in the prestigious honours. The annual Japanese prize, 25 years old this year, is given to an individual from each of the five categories, painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theatre/film, to commemorate the cultural contributions made by an artist, singer or director.

The winners of the awards will be invited to collect their trophies next month at a ceremony presided by Prince Hitachi, brother of Japan's Emperor Akihito at what has been described as the Japanese Nobel.

Francis Ford Coppola Scarf
It's Always Nice To Be Commemorated But Does He Really Need The Dosh?

Best known for his Godfather trilogy, Coppola is a millionaire, with a net worth thought to be in the region of $25m: does he really need such a huge cash prize? The award would be a life-changing, career-boosting sum for any aspiring filmmaker but will be a mere drop in the water for the director.

However, the eminent filmmaker, father to Sofia, is open in his philosophy towards money and has voiced his criticism for those who only want to make money in cinema and avoid taking risks as a result. "The cinema language happened by experimentation [but] People made money in the cinema, and then they began to say to the pioneers, 'Don't experiment. We want to make money. We don't want to take chances,'" he said in a recent interview with 9uu.

Anthony Gormley'Angel Of The North' Sculptor Anthony Gormley Will Also Be Honoured With A Hefty Cheque.

Looking ahead to the future, Coppola is sceptical of the future of money-making in art, saying "as we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I'm going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money? And therefore, who says artists have to make money?"

By his own admission, Coppola is still learning about cinema so perhaps the director, who believes in self-financing his films, will invest in new cinematic technology? Whatever he does with the dosh, with a work ethic like Coppola's, it's pretty safe to say he won't squander it.


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