Harrison Ford was surprised with an honorary Palme d'Or award at the Cannes Film Festival on Thursday.

After an introduction held at the Grand Theatre Lumière on Thursday, the Indiana Jones star was announced as a surprise recipient of the festival's honorary Palme d'Or award.

The Palme d'Or is a competitive award usually reserved for the festival's best film, but an honorary or non-competitive Palme d'Or can be awarded to directors or actors for their body of work.

"I am pleased and honoured, but I got a movie you gotta see," Ford said upon accepting the award, referencing his upcoming film Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny. He also joked of the video montage that played onstage, honouring his career, "They say before you die, you see your life flash before your eyes, and I just saw my life flash before my eyes."

Michael Douglas received the lifetime achievement honour during the opening ceremony earlier this week. His Palme d'Or honour was announced in advance, while Ford's was a surprise.

Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny premiered out of competition at the festival on Thursday. The fifth instalment of the Indiana Jones franchise sees Ford return as its titular character, preparing to retire before his estranged goddaughter (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) reveals that she seeks the Archimedes Dial - a device that can locate fissures in time.

The film is set for a theatre release on 28 June.