Salles is a Cannes favorite, having presented several movies in Cannes
This year he is coming to Cannes in a mentoring capacity

Walter Salles is hosting this year’s Cinemas du Monde series (see the full story here)

We caught up with him just before the Cannes Festival to ask him a few questions:

If one of the filmmakers in this year’s lineup were to ask you for a piece of your personal wisdom concerning their career as filmmaker, what would you tell them?
Only do a film if the story that you’ve elected is absolutely essential to you.

Define “cinema” in one brief sentence.
Cinema is an extraordinary instrument to unveil the world we live in, to better understand “the other”, and ultimately, who we are.

Is the democratization of filmmaking (thanks to the availability of equipment, etc) necessarily a good thing?
Yes, in the sense that digital technology offers the possibility for a larger number of young filmmakers to experiment with the medium. On the other hand, the camera is a mere instrument. What ultimately allows a film to exist is the vision that gives birth to it- the originality of the story, the rigor with which the way the screenplay is developed, the concept defining all the elements that compose that film.