The Tin Drum was the first German film to win the top award in Cannes when it shared the Palme d'Or with Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now in 1979. The following year, The Tin Drum became the first ever from Germany to garner the Oscar for best foreign-language film.

What did it feel like to win the Palme d'Or'
In those days the Palme, more than an Academy Award, was the award of the awards. For me, having grown up in France, being surrounded by my French and Polish friends, and having competed and juried many times before in Cannes, it will always be the best day of my life.

How did you celebrate'
I was too busy giving interviews and taking care of my cast and crew to celebrate.

How did it affect your career' Did it make it easier to attract funding'
Anatole Dauman, my late friend and producer, forecast terrible suffering and pain after such glory but, in fact, it gave me wings. I didn't use the Palme for a career move, but rather saw it as a chance of being independent and to follow my own penchant - so off I went to Lebanon to shoot Circle Of Deceit amid the civil war in Beirut.

Where do you keep your Palme d'Or'
In my winter garden, next to a small palm tree.

Which director would you give an all-time Palme d'Or to'
Jean Renoir.

What have been the most important shifts in the industry during your career'
The disappearance, almost totally, of the producer-entrepreneur operating mostly with his own money - real, virtual or borrowed - making a deal by handshake or on a napkin, but actually producing the picture within the year and fighting for a proper release in order to pay back his debts and save his family from bankruptcy.

How do you see the role of festivals changing'
They are mostly only markets and release platforms. No more leisure [time] to muse about the future of our art, craft and role in society. An enormous impoverishment spiritually, but a great opportunity for big bucks.

What are your hopes and fears for the future'
Better not even think of it in general. For films, in particular, the fear of them becoming purely a commodity.