While the idea of bestowing honorary Palmes on luminaries of the cinematic world is nothing new for the Festival, handing them out in a new section of the opening night ceremony certainly is. The Festival announced today that from 2011 onwards, bestowing the honorary leaf will become a regular fixture for the opening ceremony, and Italian director, Bernardo Bertolucci will be the inaugural recipient.
Undoubtedly part of the Festival's ongoing quest to up the red carpet celeb-count on the opening night, the new honorary palme will certainly deliver a few more flashbulbs and column inches for the event. Previously the Festival has handed out honorary palmes, but they have been on a more sporadic basis, with recipients including Woody Allen (2002), Clint Eastwood (2009), and Ingmar Bergman, who was awarded an extra special 'Palme of Palmes' for the Festival's 50th anniversary in 1997.
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