The Cannes Film Festival has honoured Clint Eastwood with a special Palme d’Or.

In Paris for the release of his latest directorial effort, Gran Torino, Eastwood was awarded the special Palme by festival president Gilles Jacob and delegate general Thierry Fremaux in recognition of the auteur who is ‘the synthesis of the classicism and the modernity of American cinema.’

Eastwood’s relationship with the festival dates back to 1985 when his Pale Rider ran in competition. Other official selection films have included Bird (1988), White Hunter, Black Heart (1990), Absolute Power (1997), Mystic River (2003) and last year’s Changeling which was awarded a special prize by the jury.

In 1994, Eastwood was president of the Cannes jury which awarded Quentin Tarantino with the Palme d’Or for Pulp Fiction.