Laurent Fabius, the French minister of foreign affairs and international development, will preside over the Sept. 22 award ceremony in New York. Mamadou Diouf, a professor who runs Columbia University’s Institute for African Studies, will also be awarded the Legion of Honor at the event.
SPC has been a top distributor of French film in the United States, promoting work by filmmakers such as François Truffaut, Jean-Jacques Beineix, Bertrand Blier, Louis Malle and Eric Rohmer. Fabius said Barker and Bernard are “making crucial connections between French and American cultures” by bringing French film to U.S. audiences.
“These individuals are breaking down the barriers of national borders and creating bridges between intellectual and cultural spheres while also enriching a transcontinental cultural dialogue,” Fabius said.
Barker and Bernard founded SPC after stints at MGM and as co-founders of Orion Classics. Their films have received 140 Oscar nominations, and include Capote, Midnight in Paris, An Education, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Howard’s End and Amour.