Greek-born Costa-Gavras has been in Competition at Cannes three times: in 1969 with Z, which won the Jury Prize; in 1975 with Special Section, which won the best director prize; and in 1982 with Missing. The latter also picked up the best actor prize for Jack Lemmon.

What did it feel like to win the Palme d'Or'
It was very special because we shared it (with Yilmaz Guney's Yol) and I think some people were waiting to see a Greek and a Turkish director do something negative. So when we were on stage together we hugged. I admire Guney very much and he did me, so it was a nice moment.

How did you celebrate'
We went to dinner and Jack (Lemmon) told a lot of jokes about us. I like to pick at other people's desserts, so Jack ordered all kind of desserts.

How did it affect your career'
I don't know if people say: 'He won an award in Cannes so let's make another movie with him.' It's good for the family, good for the friends. It's a nice object to have at home. I don't believe producers run after you because you have an award in Cannes. It makes your reputation better, but if your movie does well, then they run after you.

How has the industry changed during your career'
I don't like the word career, because it fits with politicians, with the military, with diplomats. We do a movie and then another and we don't know if we'll do a third. Each movie depends on the box office of the previous one.

How do you see the role of festivals changing'
Festivals are important. Probably there are too many now and they're losing a little of their importance because there are too many.