Italian screen legend Sophia Loren celebrated 60 years in cinema at the Cannes Film Festival in France by delivering a masterclass on surviving in the movie business.

Loren first walked the red carpet at the glamorous movie event back in the 1950s, and went on to win the festival's Best Actress prize for her dramatic turn in Two Women in 1961.

She has been a Cannes regular ever since, and on Wednesday (21May14), she posed for snappers to promote her short film, The Human Voice, directed by her son Edoardo Ponti.

After a screening of the film, during which she received a standing ovation, Loren delivered a 90-minute discussion in which she revealed she almost failed in her bid to become an actress because casting directors thought she was ugly.

She revealed, "Beauty is not important. You have to be interesting and different from others. They tried to change me but I wouldn't let them. They complained that my mouth is too wide, my nose is too long. I was never hired after doing auditions... But bit by bit, cinematographers learnt how to portray my face on the screen."

Loren, who will turn 80 in September (14), also discussed the difficulties of growing old: "Life is not easy. Life is very tough especially if you have lived for a long time. (But I'm) a very happy person because I have lived. I created a family with children and grandchildren. But life goes on and you do get older."