Director's fortnight at Cannes chose to honour Martin Scorsese this year with a prize for his overall body of work and contribution to cinema.
The American director won the Palme d'Or here in 1974 with "Taxi Driver"
This prize is always awarded without fear or favour of any other concerns, and Scorsese was given a standing ovation.
"I must say that I don't think that I was prepared for the warmth and the extraordinary conversations we've had and this remarkable welcome that I've received here in the past day and a half and I'm very moved by it. And thank you is not enough, thank you is not enough," he said.
Scorsese has been to Cannes many times since his first visit, which he openly recognised was one of the highpoints in his professional life. Other films he has brought here have done less well critically, if not comercially, He also reminded the audience that he was a true child of the cinema, as severe asthma left him often housebound as a child, and he filled the vacuum with movies which, for him represented a "spiritual experience that was a catharsis" in his life.