Following the footsteps of Isabelle Huppert, critically-acclaimed French actress Juliette Binoche received UniFrance’s French Cinema Award during a ceremony hosted at France’s Culture Minister in Paris.
Binoche, who’s just wrapped the shoot of Olivier Assayas’s “Non Fiction,” was celebrated by UniFrance’s new president Serge Toubiana and managing director Isabelle Giordano and several filmmakers she has worked and bonded with over the years, such as Claire Denis, Jean-Jacques Rappeneau and Danièle Thompson.
The actress was honored for her contribution to making French cinema shine abroad. Binoche remains one of the rare French actresses who have earned global recognition, including in the U.S. where she won an Oscar for her performance in “The English Patient” and earned an Oscar nomination for “Chocolat.” A passionate and thoughtful actress, Binoche has been praised for making consistently good career choices and taking roles that push out of her comfort zone, such as Bruno Dumont’s “Camille Claudel 1915.”
Binoche is just coming off a strong year with Claire Denis’s “Bright Sunshine In” which world premiered at Cannes’s Directors Fortnight and was sold worldwide by Playtime.
“It’s truly moving to be receiving this prize at home, in France (…) I’m often on the road and sometimes I get the impression that I’m better liked abroad, because like many actors I can be very paranoid — that’s a common trait among actors,” said Binoche who was visibly moved to receive the award.
Binoche said she aspired, as an actress, to be a free soul and give hope. She also thanks the directors, notably Dumont, Assayas and Denis, who have helped her grow as an actress through life-changing roles.
She also paid tribute the diversity of French cinema. “French cinema benefits from a support system which is being envied around the world, we should be careful to preserve — like our Social Security for that matter,” quipped Binoche.
Binoche will next shoot “Dans les forets de Siberie” with director Safy Nebbou.