AMSTERDAM — The first Thai filmmaker to win Cannes’ highest award was honored by Dutch royalty Thursday for his unique artistic expression.

Independent filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul was presented a 2016 Principal Prince Claus Award by Prince Constantijn Aschwin of the Netherlands at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam to honor his outstanding achievement in art and filmmaking.

“We realize more and more the beauty of our differences, and at the same time the atrocities and the prejudices,” Apichatpong, 46, said. “And there are still many places that remembering and sharing is dangerous. I know because I am from such place. My question is, what do we do to reach out, and communicate with empathy, when that place operates on a different logic?”

The ceremony included a screening of Apichatpong’s short film “Fireworks.”

Apichatpong began his career in 1993 and has directed several acclaimed films. His greatest success came in 2010 when “Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives” won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

The Prince Claus Awards honor excellent achievements in culture and development, especially in countries where expression is limited.

The five 2016 recipients included a Lebanese food activist, Egyptian-Lebanese artist and Vietnamese architect.

Prince Constantijn Aschwin of the Netherlands presents the 2016 Principal Prince Claus Award to Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul Thursday. Photo: Frank van Beek / Prince Claus Fund.
Prince Constantijn Aschwin of the Netherlands presents the 2016 Principal Prince Claus Award to Thai filmmaker and artist Apichatpong Weerasethakul Thursday. Photo: Frank van Beek / Prince Claus Fund.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, sixth from left, poses with Dutch prince Constantijn Aschwin, second from left, and other royals and recipients of the 2016 Prince Claus Awards on Thursday at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Photo: Frank van Beek / Prince Claus Fund.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul, sixth from left, poses with Dutch prince Constantijn Aschwin, second from left, and other royals and recipients of the 2016 Prince Claus Awards on Thursday at the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. Photo: Frank van Beek / Prince Claus Fund.