He was declared 'Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur' (13 July 2013) and 'Officier de l'ordre des Arts et des Lettres' (16 January 2014), two of the highest decorations in France.
Speaks French, English and Romanian fluently.
Member of the 'Official Competition' jury at the 42nd Deauville Film Festival in 2016.
Personal Quotes (4)
[on Train of Life (1998)] I don't know if I'm religious and I don't have all the answers. But having questions, as the Jewish people say, is half the answer. The question is, are we human beings or not? Are we barbarians, or do we truly exist as human beings? What is a human being? Before blaming God, let's try to watch ourselves in the mirror. (...) The only thing I want people to understand is that humanity is wonderfully imperfect, but wonderful. We want to remain imperfect with problems, but we want to try to understand those problems. We just have to try to find peace in our souls. That's the message that my father gave me, that life is such a big gift and we should live it 100%. We should always keep our humor - it is the manifestation of life. We need to keep the humor and our identity and memory, our culture and people, and we need to open our arms and spirit to other people. That train, for me, is all of humanity. 
I really believe in European identity, but when we say European culture, it's a great number of cultures, a very rich puzzle. But we are very different from Asian cinema, and especially American cinema. Then, there are certain bridges with South American cinema and a few, even if less, with African cinema. I still believe in European cinema's special touch, but in this multitude of cultural expressions. 
[on Train of Life (1998)]...this one came from the tradition of Jewish storytellers like Shalom Aliecham, the biggest storyteller the Jewish people had. The style is sort of a mixture between Jewish theatrical and musical traditions and Warner Brothers cartoons. 
I really like tragicomedies, to inspire myself from something quite dramatic, but life, thankfully, means that we cannot always be sad. Humour is a part of my personality. Like many Romanians under dictatorship, we didn't have anything else. We were fed tragicomedy from birth. The more we were hit over the head, the more we defended ourselves with jokes.