Producer Mohamed Hefzy Receives the Medal of “Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres”

January 31, 2021

Cairo - In recognition of his significant contribution to the Egyptian and Arab filmmaking scene, Egyptian film producer/screenwriter Mohamed Hefzyhas been bestowed the honorary Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters)in a ceremony held on Wednesday, January 27, at the French Embassy in Cairo, with the presence of the French Ambassador to Egypt Stéphane Romatet together with a small community, under the restrictions enforced in the light of the pandemic situation.

The honorary title has been also granted to Tunisian actress/producer Hend Sabry in recognition of her notable efforts on the professional, social, and humanitarian levels, supporting women's rights in the Arab world.

The medal is as an honorary distinction by the French Ministry of Culture, one of the four highest ministerial orders bestowed by the French Republic, which has been given since 1957.

Originally known as "Ordre des Arts et des Lettres", the prestigious distinction recognizes eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world”. The order has three ranks: knight, officer and commander. The rank of knight, or chevalier, goes to artists, writers or intellectuals with a background spanning at least three decades.

"I have always felt a strong connection to France, from my elementary education in a French school in Cairo, to the films I co-produced with France, and the bond I have formed over the years with my friends and counterparts in French cinema and the French cultural sector. As far as cinema, France was a huge inspiration to me as a writer and producer. I was thrilled by Clouzot, learned the rules of game from Renoir, was made breathless by Godard, and had a very long engagement with Jeunet. Today I am honored to be receiving this prestigious accolade from the French government, and would like to express my thanks and gratitude to France and especially to Ambassador Stéphane Romatet," says Mohamed Hefzy upon his receipt of the honorary title.

Mohamed Hefzyis an award-winning Egyptian screenwriter and producer who has written, ‎produced and co-produced nearly 30 feature films in Egypt, the US, the UK, and the Arab ‎world. He was named the only Arab among 30 future leaders in filmproduction by Screen International, and chosen by Variety on top of a list of Ten Names You Need to Know in the Arab Film Industry. Hefzy was named twice on the list of Variety’s 500 as one of the most influential people working in the media industry worldwide, largely due to his contribution in raising the profile of Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF) on an international level. In March 2018, Hefzy was assigned by the ‎Minister of Culture the responsibility of presiding over the Cairo International Film Festival in its 40 ‎edition, making him the youngest president in the festival's history.

Furthermore, he was presented by the Hollywood Reporter with the Arab Cinema Center Arab Cinema Personality of the Year award. Most recently, he is officially selected a member of the Academy Of Motions Pictures Arts And Sciences in the Producers” branch.

In 2006, Hefzy founded Film Clinic that is now considered as one of the ‎leading production companies in Egypt and the Arab world. His films have participated widely ‎in major film festivals, including Cannes, Venice, Berlin, Sundance, and Toronto, and have ‎won more than 80 international awards. Within four years he had not less than three films at the Cannes Film Festival : Clash by Mohamed Diab in "Un Certain Regard” in 2016 , Yomeddine by Abu Bakr Shawky in Cannes in Competition in 2018 and Souad by Ayten Amin in Competition in 2020.  He has also been a board member of the Egyptian ‎Chamber of Cinemasince 2013 and continues to represent and lobby for independent ‎filmmakers in Egypt and throughout the Arab World.

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