Seven films by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani have been to Cannes - but it was Father And Master which the Palme d'Or in 1977. Their next entry at Cannes, The Night Of San Lorenzo, took the Jury prize. They now present films out of Competition in order 'to give a chance to others'. The last film they presented at Cannes was The Elective Affinities in 1996.

How did it feel to win the Palme d'Or'
We got the prize from Roberto Rossellini who we considered our great maestro. We decided to make movies after seeing Paisan when we were kids. We considered the fact that he gave us the prize to be like a splendid circle that was completed.

How did you celebrate'
We had a lot of laughs with our wives and producer Giuliani (G de Negri) and Rossellini. Isabella Rossellini was there too and we decided she would star in our next film.

How did it affect your career'
After Father And Master we got approached by producers from all over - everyone wanted to make films with us but not the one we wanted to make - The Night of San Lorenzo - which we eventually made ourselves with long-time producer Giuliani de Negri. It was a big success.

After this win was it easier to attract subsequent funding'
Other than for San Lorenzo, yes, it became easier to make films because the international market asked for our films.

Where do you keep your Palme d'Or'
It was stolen from Giuliani's office.

What have been the most important shifts in the industry during your career'
We came to Rome to make movies and the joke in those days (1950s) was, 'There is a blind man on the street asking for money but when you look closer it is a director and he is wearing a sign that says, 'I used to make movies.''

How do you see the role of festivals changing'
The quantity of countries that produce beautiful films has increased so much that it creates a problem for festivals that have to select, and in so doing disregard, a lot of good cinema.