Italian filmmaker Bernardo Bertolucci was given the first inaugural lifetime achievement Palme D'Honneur award at the Cannes Film Festival Wednesday for his ground-breaking epics, including 1900, The Last Emperor and Last Tango in Paris.
The 71-year-old director, whose health has been declining, was in a wheelchair when he was presented with the award for his life's work. The directing legend had never won an award at Cannes before.
He dedicated his award to Woody Allen and "all Italians who still have the strength and energy to struggle, criticize and be indignant." He also acknowledged jury president Robert De Niro, who starred in 1900, as a "big friend" but joked that De Niro is "a man of few words and if he makes a speech, it would be a miracle."
He surprised the audience by announcing plans to make his next film in 3-D. The film is Io e Te (Me and You) and is an intimate story with two young main characters based on an Italian young adult novel. It would be Bertolucci's first film in eight years since The Dreamers.
"I saw Avatar and I loved Avatar but I wondered why should 3D only be good for fantasy and science-fiction?" Bertolucci said. "Imagine if Fellini's 8 1/2 was in 3D. Or Ingmar Bergman's Persona would have been great in 3D."