The new drama, starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain, premiered at the event in France last week (ends22May11) and went on to win the festival's top award on Sunday (22May11).
Malick didn't promote the film with its stars and he was not present when the Palme d'Or was handed out, but producer Bill Pohlad has now explained why the notoriously publicity-shy moviemaker did not turn up.
He tells reporters at Cannes, "Why isn't he here? I'm not saying it's an easy question to answer, he is personally a very humble guy and a very shy guy. A lot of people... (see) this kind (of) behaviour as a bit of an act, but it's not that way with Terry. He sincerely wants the work to speak for itself."