The Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or is a trophy any self-respecting director would want to see alongside an Academy Award on the mantlepiece.
But that didn't stop US director Terrence Malick from shunning last night’s gala ceremony after his critically-acclaimed film The Tree of Life won the award.
The notoriously publicity-shy director failed to pick up the trophy, which was instead accepted by two of the film's producers.
“I have some very big boots to fill, as Terrence is very shy and I managed to speak to him earlier and he was very happy,” said producer William Pohlad.
Malick avoided all promotional appearances at the festival and does not allow his photograph to be used to promote his films.
The Tree of Life stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.
“I believe I can speak for him,” said Pitt earlier this week on Malick's lack of visibility. “He thinks of himself as building a house. And I don't know why it is expected in our business that people who make things are then expected to sell them.”