Film Dev’t Council chair receives French Legion of Honor [fr]
The President of the French Republic has named Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) Chairman Briccio Santos Chevalier (Knight) in the Légion d’honneur (Legion of Honor), one of the premier distinctions conferred on individuals by the France.
Santos was recognized for his efforts in developing and promoting the Philippine cultural identity through cinema, particularly in the preservation of Philippine film heritage through the creation of the National Film Archives, which is an advocacy greatly supported by France, known to be the birthplace of cinema.
“This award affirms the strengthening of ties between the Philippines and France, who share the same vision for cultural development as a tool to enrich national heritage,” said Santos. For a few years, Santos lived in Europe with his family, particularly in France and Germany, where he experienced art in all forms of expression flourishing through government support.
“Cinema is creation, it is about human feelings, human histories, about our lives. This is the kind of cinema that Briccio is fighting for, and we French are extremely sensible to that,” said French Ambassador Gilles Garachon, who led the conferment on Thursday, October 24, at the French Residence in Makati.
“It’s so very important for us to fight for this independent creative national cinema, and this is the fight of Briccio and we all respect very deeply his fight,” Ambassador Garachon added.
The French Légion d’honneur is an order of chivalry established on May 19, 1802 by the French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte, and is the oldest and highest ranking medal of honor in France. The President of the French Republic, currently Mr. François Hollande, is the Grand Master of the Order and appoints all other members of the order. Its five classes are the following: Chevalier (Knight), Officier (Officer), Commandeur (Commander), Grand Officier (Grand Officer) and Grand Croix (Grand Cross).
Filipinos who have previously been given this recognition include the late President Corazon Aquino, General Carlos P. Romulo, journalists Teodoro Benigno and Max Soliven, former Speaker of the House Jose de Venecia, and BPI President Aurelio “Gigi” Montinola III.
Moving towards French-Philippine film co-production
Julien Ezanno, head of international co-productions at the Centre national du cinema (CNC), will visit Manila next month to present the mechanics of the World Cinema Support Scheme and encourage local filmmakers to apply for this funding.
This comes following the participation of Franck Priot, COO of FilmFrance, at the recent International Film Expo last September, where he highlighted the possibilities of shooting Filipino films in France.
Photos by Jude Bautista.