PARIS, March 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy has named Harvey Weinstein, Co-Chairman of The Weinstein Company (TWC), a recipient of the 2012 Legion d'Honneur, in recognition of Weinstein's contributions to cinema and his decades of work producing some of the most highly regarded films of our time. Weinstein was nominated personally by President Sarkozy on July 22, 2011 and will receive the award in a ceremony to take place in Paris.
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President Sarkozy wrote the following upon nominating Weinstein to the Legion d'Honneur: "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."
Said Weinstein, "I am honored and humbled by this recognition from President Sarkozy and the people of France. All my life, I have loved and been inspired by French cinema. I am still the young boy who walked two miles to The Mayfair movie theater in Flushing, NY to see films by the greats – Lelouch, Godard, Renoir and my personal favorite Francois Truffaut. They inspired me and led me to the place I am in today. I hope to continue my friendship with France and its filmmakers for many years to come."
France's oldest and highest distinction, the Legion d'Honneur was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is awarded to outstanding individuals who have contributed to France and to the ideals it upholds. Past recipients include Charlie Chaplin, Marlene Dietrich, Akira Kurosawa, Clint Eastwood, Robert DeNiro, Satyajit Ray, and Steven Spielberg to name just a few. Weinstein requested to keep the honor private until now to avoid any conflict of interest with Academy Award® Best Picture winner THE ARTIST.
Weinstein will enter the Legion d'Honneur with the grade of "Chevalier." Weinstein has been bringing interesting and cutting edge independent films to audiences for three decades, first as founder and Chairman of Miramax from 1979-2005, and subsequently as founder and Co-Chairman of TWC, launched in 2005. In spring 2011, he acquired Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST, a French production that went on to win five 2012 Academy Awards®, including Best Picture. Over the years, the cultural impact of some of his most well known films – PULP FICTION, GANGS OF NEW YORK, THE AVIATOR, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, THE PIANO, LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL, GOOD WILL HUNTING – has been recognized and awarded on many levels. Weinstein has been responsible for the distribution and promotion of more than 30 French films in the United States, including previously released EDITH AND MARCEL (EDITH ET MARCEL, 1983); DELICATESSEN (1991); THREE COLORS: BLUE (TROIS COULEURS: BLEU, 1993); THREE COLORS: RED (TROIS COULEURS: ROUGE, 1994); THREE COLORS: WHITE (TROIS COULEURS: BIALY, 1994); AMELIE (2001); LE CONCERT (2009); SARAH'S KEY (ELLE S'APPELAIT SARAH, 2010); and upcoming releases including box office sensation THE INTOUCHABLES (UNTOUCHABLES, 2011); A GANG STORY (LES LYONNAIS, 2012); WAR OF THE BUTTONS (LA NOVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS, 2012); and PLAYERS (LES INFIDELES, 2012).
LETTER TO HARVEY WEINSTEIN FROM PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY
July 22, 2011
Dear Mr. Weinstein,
I have great pleasure of informing you that I have signed a decree which nominates you to the order of the Legion d'Honneur.
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.
I would like to express my personal congratulations for the well deserved distinction which France has bestowed on you.
ABOUT THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
The Weinstein Company (TWC) is a multimedia production and distribution company launched in October 2005 by Bob and Harvey Weinstein, the brothers who founded Miramax Films in 1979. TWC also encompasses Dimension Films, the genre label founded in 1993 by Bob Weinstein, which has released such popular franchises as SCREAM, SPY KIDS and SCARY MOVIE. Together TWC and Dimension Films have released a broad range of mainstream, genre and specialty films that have been commercial and critical successes. TWC releases took home eight 2012 Academy Awards®, the most wins in the studio's history. The tally included Best Picture for Michel Hazanavicius's THE ARTIST and Best Documentary Feature for TJ Martin and Dan Lindsay's UNDEFEATED. THE ARTIST brought TWC its second consecutive Best Picture statuette following the 2011 win for Tom Hooper's THE KING'S SPEECH.
Since 2005, TWC and Dimension Films have released such films as GRINDHOUSE; I'M NOT THERE; THE GREAT DEBATERS; VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA; THE READER; THE ROAD; HALLOWEEN; THE PAT TILLMAN STORY; PIRANHA 3D; INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS; A SINGLE MAN; BLUE VALENTINE; THE COMPANY MEN; MIRAL; SCRE4M; SUBMARINE; DIRTY GIRL; APOLLO 18; OUR IDIOT BROTHER; I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT; SARAH'S KEY; and SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D. Currently in release are MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; THE ARTIST; THE IRON LADY; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; and UNDEFEATED. Upcoming releases include BULLY and THE INTOUCHABLES. Recently wrapped was SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, and currently in production is DJANGO UNCHAINED.
TWC is also active in television production, led by former Miramax Films President of Production and current President of Television Meryl Poster, with credits including the Emmy® nominated and Peabody Award winning reality series Project Runway, spin-off series Project Accessory and Project Runway All Stars, the VH1 reality series Mob Wives, and the critically acclaimed HBO comedy/crime series The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency which also received a Peabody Award. The company is currently in pre-production on the martial-arts epic Marco Polo for Starz as well as production on the second season of Mob Wives and the newest installment in the series' franchise Mob Wives Chicago. TWC additionally has 17 series in different stages of development, including The Nanny Diaries, being adapted for ABC by Amy Sherman Palladino (Gilmore Girls).
SOURCE The Weinstein Company