French actor Philippe Noiret is to receive the Festival Award at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The festival said it is making the award in order to "pay tribute to the richness, diversity and everlasting life of an extraordinary career."

The 69-year-old Noiret will receive the special trophy at a ceremony on Monday May 15 which will also see the screening of Bertrand Tavernier's La Vie Et Rien D'Autre, for which Noiret won the Cesar and European Film Academy awards.

Since a debut in Agnes Varda's La Pointe Courte, Noiret has become one of France's most prolific and at the same time best loved actors. He has appeared in many of the pictures which have become milestones in French cinema history and worked for many of the world's best directors. His credits include La Grande Bouffe, Les Ripoux, La Vie De Chateaux, Le Capitaine Fracasse, Il Postino and Zazie Dans Le Metro.