Director named an officer in the Order of Arts

Director William Friedkin has been named an officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government.

The award, which honors significant contributions to the arts in France and the world, is bestowed by Gaul’s Ministry of Culture and Communication. The presentation ceremony will take place in the fall.

Kudo is particularly meaningful, Friedkin said, “because of the profound influence French cinema has had on all the filmmakers of my generation.”

Friedkin won the 1971 Oscar for director for “The French Connection” and was nominated for 1973’s “The Exorcist.” His 1980 pic “Cruising” saw resurgence at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year when it was screened as part of Directors’ Fortnight.

The helmer is skedded to direct two of the three operas of Puccini’s “Il Trittico” for the opening of the Los Angeles Opera’s 2008-09 season.

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