A group of Spanish female filmmakers have said Johnny Depp's lifetime achievement award "transmits a terrible message".

The 58-year-old Hollywood star will be honoured with the Donostia Award at the 69th San Sebastian film festival in Spain next month.

Organisers described Oscar-nominated Depp as "one of contemporary cinema's most talented and versatile actors", adding he "has played writers, undercover cops or outlaws, almost always misfits" over his illustrious yet controversial career.

However, a prominent group of Spanish female filmmakers denounced the San Sebastián film festival's decision to award Depp its highest honour, saying it gave the high-profile event a bad name.

Cristina Andreu, the president of Spain's Association of Female Filmmaker and Audiovisual Media, said she was "very surprised" by the festival's decision to award Depp its top prize, amid his legal battle with his ex-wife Amber Heard, who has previously accused him of domestic violence. Depp, 58, has adamantly denied all the allegations against him.

"This speaks very badly of the festival and its leadership and transmits a terrible message to the public: 'It doesn't matter if you are an abuser as long as you are a good actor,'" Andreu said.

Andreu added that the association, which has close links to the San Sebastian festival, was "studying next steps".

Click here for more movie news