Egyptian auteur Marianne Khoury awarded France's highest decoration

The renowned director received the Legion of Honour, one of the world's most distinguished accolades, at the French embassy in Cairo on Wednesday

Egyptian filmmaker Marianne Khoury has been awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest accolade. AP
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Renowned Egyptian filmmaker Marianne Khoury was awarded the Legion of Honour, France’s highest accolade.

The distinguished auteur was given the prize by France’s ambassador to Egypt Marc Barety at a ceremony Wednesday night at the French embassy in Cairo.

Khoury, the niece of legendary Egyptian director Youssef Chahine with whom she worked on a number of films - has had quite the career herself.

Her filmography includes a number of acclaimed documentaries and films. Her latest work, a deeply personal documentary about four generations of women in her family, premiered in 2019 at Amsterdam’s International Documentary Festival.

Egyptian producer Marianne Khoury receives the Audience Award from British actress Nathalie Emmanuel (L) during the closing ceremony of the 41st Cairo International Film Festival (CIFF), at the Opera House in Cairo on November 29, 2019. / AFP / Khaled DESOUKI

The film blends extensive archival footage of some of the most intimate moments in her family’s past.

Identity, particularly of women, is a central focus of many of Khoury’s films.

Aside from her artistic work, Khoury is a pillar of Cairo’s art scene, and is widely celebrated as a bridge between the underground art world of the Egyptian capital and its mainstream.

A managing partner at the Cairo-based Misr International Films, one of Egypt’s most prolific production companies, Khoury also co-founded the Panorama of the European Film, one of the most-visited events in the country’s annual roster.

The festival typically highlights lesser known films from around the world.

She has also served as a jury member on a number of internationally recognised festivals including Venice.

The Legion of Honour is one of the most famous decorations in the world.

Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte, it is presented on behalf of the French head of state to honour the most deserving people in a number of fields.

It is awarded to both French and non-French citizens - provided they have served France or its ideals.

Updated: January 20, 2022, 6:09 PM