Austrian filmmaker Michael Haneke was announced here Thursday as the recipient of the 2013 Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts.
The 71-year-old writer and director's films include, The Piano Teacher, The White Ribbon and Amour, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
Meeting in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo, capital of the principality of Asturias, the jury for the arts award selected Haneke from among more than 30 nominees.
"Employing radical sincerity, keen observation and extreme subtlety, his work constitutes an original and highly personal approach to fundamental issues that concern and affect us both individually and collectively," the jury said of Haneke.
"With a constantly evolving filmography, which also stands out for Haneke's prodigious talent for choosing the right actors, this European creator is a major reference in contemporary filmmaking," the statement continued.
Haneke greeted the news of his selection with extraordinary joy and satisfaction.
"I wholeheartedly thank the jury of the Prince of Asturias Award for the Arts for having granted me this great and prestigious distinction," he said from Brussels.
Along with a cash award of 50,000 euros (about $65,600) and a sculpture by Joan Miro that symbolizes the awards, each recipient gets a diploma and an insignia bearing the Prince of Asturias Foundation's coat of arms.
The arts prize is one of eight Prince of Asturias Awards given out annually.
The prizes, which Spain's Crown Prince Felipe will hand out at a ceremony in the fall in Oviedo, are regarded as the Ibero-American world's equivalent of the Nobels.