Rounding out a successful Cannes launch of How To Train Your Dragon 2, DreamWorks Animation‘s Jeffrey Katzenberg this morning became a Commander of the Order Of Arts And Letters in a Palais ceremony presided over by French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti. Cannes Film Festival programming wizard Thierry Fremaux also attended the ceremony and joined in photos with the pair afterwards. The minister lauded the professional and humanitarian achievements of the DWA chief before he accepted the prestigious honor. “I actually have too much to say here but I won’t make it too long. I have found a second home here in France for 40 years. I have so many things to be grateful for the inspiration and the mentorship for so many things that originate here in France, which in many ways not only is the birthplace of cinema, but also culture. I have been blessed to be a part of the Cannes Film Festival which is the greatest platform and home of prestigious cinema anywhere in the world. To be on that red carpet, to be in that Palais I think is really the greatest honor any filmmaker can have.” Katzenberg also acknowledged retiring President Gilles Jacob and Fremaux, who he said has brought “great artistic vision to the festival. His welcoming of animation well over a decade ago made history.”
He also mentioned his own relationship with the incoming president of the festival, Pierre Lescure , who was also in attendance today. “As the next president of the festival, it only insures many more decades of success,” he said. “To receive this is really a great honor and one that I am greatly appreciative of.”
Other recipients of this honor include Bono, Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Lenny Kravitz , Lou Reed, Sean Connery and Roger Moore. Katzenberg got it without being able to sing or being James Bond. Impressive.
Awards Columnist Pete Hammond - tip him here.