Mimi Plauché, the artistic director of the Chicago International Film Festival, has been named Knight of the Order of Arts and Lettres from the French Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot-Narquin.
Plauché will receive the honorary distinction, one of the four ministerial orders of the French Republic, at a gala event held on Sept. 13 in Chicago. She follows in the footsteps of previous American recipients including Dave Kehr, Uma Thurman and Jim Jarmusch.
Bachelot-Narquin announced the tribute to Plauché in a letter and praised the artistic director for her “contribution and commitment to cultural service.” The Order of Arts and Letters recognizes “eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.”
“I am so pleased that Mimi Plauché is receiving this French award that acknowledges her outstanding professional achievements as an internationally recognized programming director who throughout her career at the Chicago International Film Festival has been committed to bringing the best French cinema to Chicago audiences,” said Tanguy Accart, cultural attaché at the Chicago office of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the U.S..
Since taking the helm of the Chicago festival in 2016, Plauché ramped up the festival’s international profile with screenings such as Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” and Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman,” as well as several hit French films, including Michel Hazanavicius’s “The Artist” and Celine Sciamma’s “Portrait of a Lady on Fire.”
“It is a tremendous honor to receive this distinction,” said Plauché. “Ever since I was young, tagging along with my parents to the theater to see the latest masterwork by François Truffaut, Claude Chabrol, Agnes Varda, or Louis Malle, French cinema has been an essential and sustaining part of my film life.”
Plauché said she has also had “an enduring legacy over the 57 years of the Chicago International Film Festival.”
“It is a privilege to enrich this tradition, as we continue to present and celebrate exciting rising talents alongside the great auteurs of the 21st century,” added Plauché.
The 57th Chicago International Film Festival will take place Oct. 13-24.