New York, December 6, 2018— Anne Kern, Dean for Global Strategy and International Programs at Purchase College, State University of New York, and Jake Perlin, Artistic and Programming Director of Metrograph, were both awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, on Wednesday, December 5 in New York at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy. Kern and Perlin received this distinction in recognition of their significant contributions to the study, dissemination and appreciation of French and Francophone film in the US, as well as the impact of these contributions on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.
Anne Kern, who earned her Ph.D. in film studies and comparative literature at Yale, is a film historian, associate professor, and Dean for Global Strategy and International Programs at Purchase College in Puchase, New York. In 2018 she became the first Dean for Global Strategy at Purchase College, where she continues the work she started as the founding Director of Purchase College’s Transnational Film Project, in which young filmmakers from countries including France, the U.S., Benin and Haiti travel and collaborate to make short films. Currently, she is leading Purchase College’s effort to be the first U.S. university to make a major, long term investment in ongoing educational opportunities for both American and Beninese students in Benin and the U.S. Building on the experience gained in Benin, Dr. Kern is leading a similar effort to establish programming and partnerships in Haiti.
Prior to this, she has also served as a member of film panels and juries, including the jury at the Festival du Film Francophone d’Angoulême in 2014, and for three years (2015-17) was the Director of Programming for the Focus on French Cinema festival (6,000 spectators every year). Fluent in French, she has a seat on the Selection Committee of American universities benefitting from the Tournées Film Festival program, a program of the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States that has since 1995 given more than 500,000 American students the chance to participate in screenings of classic and contemporary French film. She is also a Member of the Film Advisory Board of the Avon Theatre Film Center in Stamford, CT, and was a Board Member for over a decade at the Alliance Française of Greenwich, CT.
Based in New York City, Jake Perlin is the Artistic and Programming Director of Metrograph, a Manhattan cinema which opened in March 2016. In 2008, Perlin founded The Film Desk, a distribution company dedicated to masterpieces of French cinema previously unreleased in the United States, including films by Philippe Garrel, Maurice Pialat, Jacques Rivette, Alain Cavalier and Alain Resnais. Film Desk has published books on the work of Philippe Garrel and François Truffaut.
Previously, Perlin programmed BAMcinématek for eight years and at Film Society for Lincoln Center. His work was rewarded with the Film Heritage Prize by the National Society of Film Critics in 2011 and 2015. In 2013, Perlin co-organized a complete Jean-Luc Godard retrospective at the 51st annual New York Film Festival. Perlin has also served as Executive Director of Cinema Conservancy, a non-profit supporting independent films, which co-produced films Hermia and Helena and Peter and the Farm, and organized the release of films including Nothing But a Man, Little Fugitive and Stations of the Elevated. He was a co-producer of Heart of a Dog.
Since the opening of Metrograph in March 2016, Perlin’s love of French cinema has been reflected in tributes, film series, and special events honoring the work of Isabelle Huppert, Vincent Lindon and Robert Bresson in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, and traveling retrospectives of films by Philippe Garrel and most recently, Mario Ruspoli.
The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out three times annually under the jurisdiction of the minister of Culture. American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnership between French and American artists, institutions, and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop, Albertine, it fosters French American exchange around literature and the arts.
Camille Desprez, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1.212.439.1417