NEW YORK, April 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Following French President Nicolas Sarkozy's honoring of TWC Co-Chairman Harvey Weinstein with the award of Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur, friends and family of Weinstein will join together at the French Embassy of the United States in New York City on Monday, April 30 to celebrate at a reception hosted by Ambassador of France Francois Delattre and Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy Antonin Baudry. At the reception, a special guest will read a letter from President Sarkozy to Weinstein before the crowd. In recognition of Weinstein's contributions to cinema and his decades of work producing some of the most highly regarded films of our time, the nomination was made personally by President Sarkozy on July 22, 2011. Weinstein received the award in a ceremony in Paris last month.
In attendance at Monday night's reception will be Georgina Chapman, Glenda Bailey, Hamish Bowles, Kenneth Cole, Henrique de Castro, Carolina Herrera, Arianna Huffington, Brigitte Lacombe, Padma Lakshmi, Frank Langella, Bette Midler, Rebecca Midler, Petra Nemcova, Nicholas Rachline, and George Stevens, Jr. among others.
Prior to the reception at the French Embassy, there will be a private screening of international box office record breaker THE INTOUCHABLES at the Paley Center for Media's Bennack Theatre. THE INTOUCHABLES, already winning the hearts of American audiences on its film festival run, will be released in theaters in the U.S. on May 25. The film has won multiple awards at film festivals around the country including: the ColCoa Film Festival's Audience Award and Critics Special Prize; the Florida Film Festival's Audience Award for Best International Feature; the Wisconsin Film Festival's Audience Award for Best Narrative Film; and the Nashville Film Festival's Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature. Directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, the film features breakout star Omar Sy and Francois Cluzet.
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."
President Sarkozy wrote the following after naming Weinstein to the Legion d'Honneur: "You show that quality and popularity are not mutually exclusive. When you love something, you go all the way. You champion cinema d'auteur with both a commercial sense and the passion of the cinephile."
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 entered 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 NOUVELLE GUERRE DES BOUTONS, 2012); and PLAYERS (LES INFIDELES, 2012).
THE INTOUCHABLES – SYNOPSIS
A phenomenon in France, where it shattered box-office records to become the second most successful film of all time, THE INTOUCHABLES tells the true story of the unlikely friendship between a handicapped millionaire (Francois Cluzet of TELL NO ONE) and his unconventional caretaker (breakout star Omar Sy).
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; SPY KIDS: ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD IN 4D; MY WEEK WITH MARILYN; and THE IRON LADY. Currently in release are THE ARTIST; CORIOLANUS; W.E.; UNDEFEATED; and BULLY. Upcoming releases include 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).
ABOUT THE CULTURAL SERVICES OF THE FRENCH EMBASSY
The French Cultural Services provides a platform and resources for cultural exchange between French and American artists, intellectuals, curators and arts professionals. It is dedicated to creating new models for international dialogue in the arts and education from French and American perspectives. Based in New York City,Washington D.C. and eight other cities across the U.S., the Cultural Services' principal fields of action are the arts, literature, cinema, French language programs and higher education.
SOURCE The Weinstein Company