CHICAGO, IL (June 3, 2015) – The President of the French Republic has named Michael Kutza a Knight of the Legion of Honour.
This distinction acknowledges his outstanding professional achievements, “as an internationally recognized graphic designer, filmmaker and the Founder of the Chicago International Film Festival,” said Vincent Floreani, Consul General of France in Chicago.
Mr. Kutza is the recipient of many international awards, including in 1984 the Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from French Minister of Culture Jack Lang.
The Legion d’Honneur is the highest decoration given by the French government and was created by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802. The award recognizes Mr. Kutza’s role in the promotion of French cinema and their creators under his presidency of the Chicago International Film Festival for the last 50 years.
“I am honored to be recognized for doing something that seemed so natural for me to do: Bring the best in French films and talent to my city!” Kutza said.
Over the years, the Chicago International Film Festival has hosted such French film luminaries as Jacques Demy, Claude LeLouch, Isabelle Huppert, François Truffaut, Leslie Caron, Louis Malle, Bertrand Tavernier, François Ozon, Agnes Varda, Patrice Chéreau, Anouk Aimée and Jeanne Moreau.
“As François Truffaut said at our Festival back in 1981, ‘VIVE LE CINÉMA!'” added Kutza.
Mr. Kutza will join a distinguished list of previous honorees, including Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood, Richard Attenborough, Josephine Baker, Julia Child, Sean Connery, Miles Davis, Kirk Douglas, Gene Kelly, Jerry Lewis, Charles Lindbergh, Paul McCartney, Louis Pasteur, Robert Redford, Steven Spielberg, Elizabeth Taylor, and Desmond Tutu.
A private award ceremony will take place June 16, 2015.
For media inquiries, contact: