CANNES: Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira, who recently celebrated his 100th birthday, received a lively acclaim from Gilles Jacob, who awarded him the Palme d’Or for his lifetime career achievement in film.
The Grand Théâtre Lumière was packed with distinguished guests eager to witness the ceremony, a high point of the 61st Festival de Cannes–Sean Penn, President of the Jury, attended with certain members of his panel, including Jeanne Balibar, Natalie Portman, Alfonso Cuaron, Rachid Bouchareb, Marjane Satrapi, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul. Clint Eastwood, whose feature Changeling will be screening today (20 May) in Competition, was also in the audience.
The officials present included French Minister of Culture and Communication Christine Albanel; European Commission president José Manuel Barroso; European Ministers of Culture, and Portuguese Film Library director João Bénard Da Costa.
After his short film, A Day in the Life of Manoel de Oliveira was screened, Jacob read a personal letter, thanking and praising the director for his contribution to the Seventh Art.