What did it feel like to win the Palme d'Or'
The first time I was excited because it was a surprise. The second time, I was more excited because the Palme d'Or in 1995 defended my life and my political stance towards the breakdown of former Yugoslavia, which was very hard to defend at the time.
How did you celebrate'
The first time I had a modest but spectacular party at the Sarajevo Academy of Performing Arts. After Underground, the celebration became a sequel to a scene from that film: the calm beach of a Cannes hotel turned into a battleground with a serious fight between men in white shirts and men in black shirts. It concluded with a happy end and drinking together.
How did it affect your career'
The Palme d'Or brought me autonomy and freedom.
To whom would you give an all-time Palme d'Or'
What have been the most important shifts in the industry during your career'
Everything that was good in American film in the 1970s - the existentialism and social consciousness - ended with Star Wars. Then came a variety of technically perfect but superficial and spiritually void movies. What is left are sparks in the dark, like Tarantino, Jarmusch, Paul Thomas Anderson, the Coen brothers - loners who saved the commercial in auteur film and auteur in commercial film.
How do you see the role of festivals changing'
Festivals and the industry cannot exist without each other because festivals are the only places where films are judged by aesthetic criteria. The new media platforms can reform the importance of festival markets but they cannot change the need of people to see each other.