This is a novelty for the Festival de Cannes: from 2011, the organizers will award an annual Honorary Palme d’Or, which will be presented during the Opening Ceremony.

This recognition is attributed to an important filmmaker, whose work is authoritative but never got a Palme d’Or. In the recent past, Woody Allen, in 2002, or Clint Eastwood in 2009, were awarded this distinction by President Gilles Jacob, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Festival de Cannes. Now, the act becomes tradition, will be annual and will take place at the opening of the event.

In 2011, the Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci will have this honour.

The filmmaker (poet Attilio Bertolucci’s son) directed these intimate, Italian cinema masterpieces as monumental frescoes: from Prima della Revoluzione (1964), Novecento (1976), The Conformist (1970) to The Last Emperor (1987), his political and social involvement, driven by a profound lyricism and an elegant and accurate direction, gives his films a unique place in the history of world cinema.

“The quality of his work, which appears today in all its uniqueness and the extent of which we receive every day intact, the strength of his commitment to cinema and the ties that bind make this for Cannes the first legitimate recipient.” say President Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux General Delegate.

The Honorary Palme d’Or will be attributed to him Wednesday, May 11, at the Opening Ceremony of the 64th edition of the Festival, in the presence of the jury chaired by Robert De Niro, who was one of the actors in Novecento (1900).