Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine shared the 1993 Palm d'Or with Jane Campion's The Piano - and he is so far the only Chinese director to win the honour. He was in Competition twice before his win, and twice since. He is now preparing a biopic of Peking Opera master Mei Lanfang.

What did it feel like to win the Palme d'Or'
Because of the good reception after the premiere, I was looking forward to winning something. But when they announced my name I was still shocked. I remember I said that walking to the stage from the audience took me 10 years. I feel it's not just an honour for me, but for all Chinese film-makers.

How did you celebrate'
We opened a bottle of champagne but there was no big party. Back at the hotel I ordered room service, the waiter saw the Palme d'Or. He congratulated me in awkward English but it was the warmest English greeting I've ever heard.

How did it affect your career'
I think I was lucky to win the prize at 41. But the important thing is not the Palme d'Or: it's that more people were able to see the film.

To whom would you give an all-time Palme d'Or'
Ingmar Bergman. His films are truly the voices of human hearts, especially in the era of commercially driven film-making.

How do you see the role of the festival changing'
I still enjoy going to the festival, seeing new movies and feeling the new trends of film-making. Cannes maintains a spirit of humanism in its selection.

What are your hopes and fears for the future'
Being a Chinese director, life can be quite dramatic. But you can't control the changing of time. You can only keep finding new working conditions and keep working. This is our task.