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.
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“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.
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