More than fifty years after making a mark on cinema in a breakthrough film, iconic French actor Jean-Paul Belmondo will be honored in France this spring at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival. Belmondo will be saluted at the Fest in May surrounded by friends and fellow actors. 

“The time has certainly come to celebrate this extraordinarily talented French actor,” Cannes organizers said today. The Fest will celebrate Belmondo on May 17 at the 64th Festival de Cannes. Vincent Perrot and Jeff Domenech's documentary Belmondo, The Career will anchor the evening in the South of France. 

Belmondo's breakthrough was Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless. In the wake of that film, he became forever associated with the French New Wave, acting in Godard's Pierre le fou five years later. Belmondo's other credits include Jean-Pierre Melville's Leon Morin, Priest and The Fingerman. He swiftly become a major star in France, working in films by Alain Resnais, Philippe de Broca, Claude LeLouch, Henri Verneuil, Francois Truffaut, Gérard Oury, Georges Lautner, Jacques Deray.

“We are delighted that he has agreed to attend this gala evening in celebrating of this talent and careet,” said the Cannes Film Festival's Gilles Jacob and Thierry Frémaux, in a statement today. “His range and personal charisma, the precision of his acting, his cocky wit, the ease with which he carries himself have made him, along with Jean Gabin, and MIchel Simon, one of the greatest French actors of all time, a fact to which many films bear ample witness.”

Pictured above: Jean-Paul Belmondo and Jean Seberg in Godard's Breathless.