The Legion of Honour is one of the world’s most widely recognized decorations. It has often served as a model to many foreign countries and is the highest French award as well as one of the most famous in the world. It celebrates the civic spirit of France and the country's sense of common interest and is given to reward the most deserving citizens in all fields of activity.
The Legion of Honour is part of the national patrimony of France -- a living, popular and contemporary institution, it embodies strong values tied to the history of the Republique.
During a ceremony held in Cairo on Wednesday, the French Ambassador to Egypt Marc Baréty awarded the coveted medal to Egyptian helmer Marianne Khoury. The Cairo-based Khoury gravitated towards cinema after graduating with an Economics degree from Cairo and Oxford. For more than three decades, Khoury has closely collaborated with iconic filmmaker Youssef Chahine, who is also her uncle. Since 1984, she has been a managing partner in Misr International Films (Youssef Chahine & Co.) as well as an executive producer on a large number of co productions directed by late iconic director.
Khoury produces and directs films that engage the audience on an intimate level, tackling themes of identity, memory and marginalization. She produced and co-produced around thirty feature films and documentaries that won awards in regional and international festivals. Her latest is the 2019 documentary Let's Talk where she delivered a no-holds-barred narrative of four generations of her family riddled with traumas and disappointments. The film was selected to take part in the 32nd edition of IDFA -- International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam -- and also won the Audience Award at the Cairo International Film Festival in 2019.
Acting as a conduit between artists and the cinema industry, Khoury has been instrumental in introducing the first edition of the Panorama of the European Film in Cairo in 2004 and inspired the first art house cinema in Egypt, ZAWYA.
Her latest initiative, started in 2011 under the label MK Production, is The Dahshur Workshops, which is dedicated to the mentoring and development of films made by emerging Egyptian and Arab talent. Khoury has often served as a jury member in major festivals and a consultant to prominent cultural institutions.
Accepting her medal Khoury said: “I am extremely grateful to receive this distinction as it gives me the confidence and the courage to pursue my journey and continue to be myself.”