The award, which will be presented to important film-makers who have never received the Palme d’Or, is to become an annual fixture at the Cannes Film Festival as of this year.

Italian director Bernardo Bertolucci is to receive the Honorary Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes film festival.

The award has previously been presented to Woody Allen and Clint Eastwood, but as of this year, it is to become an annual tradition at the festival, with a special presentation taking place at the opening ceremony of the 64th edition.

Bertolucci’s credits include Prima della Revoluzione (1964), Novecento (1976), The Conformist (1970) and The Last Emperor (1987).

“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,” said Cannes chiefs Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux.