Charlie Chaplin, Clint Eastwood, Steven Speilberg, and Robert DeNiro are all past recipients of the Légion d’Honneur award, France’s oldest and highest honor, given to those that embody French ideals and contribute to French society.
Now, Harvey Weinstein, the American Jewish film chairman and producer, will receive the award, under the personal recommendation of Nicholas Sarkozy – the President of France.
“All my life, I have loved and been inspired by French cinema, and as a studio head it has been my pride and joy to have the ability to bring movies to audiences around the world. I am still the young boy who walked to the cinema in Flushing, New York to see films by the greats – Lelouch, Godard, Renoir and my personal favorite FranÃ§ois Truffaut,” Weinstein said in a statement.
Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company which distributed and owns “The Artist”, the film that won Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards, Mr. Weinstein received a letter from France’s President Sarkozy in July of last year, informing him of the nomination.
“This prestigious distinction, which I wanted to come from my personal allocation, is a testimony of the admiration of millions of French citizens for the exceptional quality of the films that you have produced. It also expresses our gratitude to someone who has always shown great friendship towards our country and our cinema, which you have enabled so many Americans to discover,” read the note.