Fugitive director Roman Polanski was astounded to receive a standing ovation when he won the Best Director Academy Award for The Pianist in 2003.

Forced to watch the ceremony from a Paris hotel room, where he is avoiding incarceration for child-sex charges, the maverick movie-maker was moved and stunned by the warm reaction.

He says, "I didn't expect it. There's no doubt for me it was a special experience, that film."