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Bertolucci to kick off Cannes with Honorary Palme d'or

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 and will be annual, taking place at the opening of the event.

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

The filmmaker (poet Attilio Bertolucci's son) has marked Italian cinema with intimate masterpieces as well as monumental frescoes: from Prima della Revoluzione (1964) to Novecento (1976), from 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 this work we perceive every day more vividly, the strength of his commitment to cinema and the ties that bind him to Cannes, make Bernaldo Bertollucci the first legitimate recipient." say President Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux General Delegate.

The Honorary Palme 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).

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