New York, February 25, 2019 – Businessman, leading patron of the cinematic arts, and dedicated advocate for French film in the United States, Charles S. Cohen, will be awarded the insignia of Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by Gérard Araud, French Ambassador to the United States, on Monday, March 4th, in a ceremony held at the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.
Already distinguished by France as a Chevalier of the National Order of Merit and a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters, Mr. Cohen, whose service to cultural interchange has been a defining aspect of his career, is now recognized by the prestigious Legion of Honor.
As Owner, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cohen Media Group (CMG) and Cohen Brothers Realty Corporation (CBRC), Charles S. Cohen, an attorney by training, has achieved a national reputation for his business acumen, innovation and creativity at every turn. An entrepreneurial film producer/distributor/exhibitor and real estate executive in the truest sense, Mr. Cohen has developed a media company with a strong focus on distributing French films throughout North America. CMG is currently one of the most prolific distributors of French cinema in the United States.
After CMG’s creation in 2007, one of Mr. Cohen’s first investments was in Courtney Hunt’s Frozen River, for which he acted as the Executive Producer. The film saw success as it won the 2008 Sundance Grand Jury Prize, two Spirit Awards, and two Oscar nominations. Since then, CMG has dedicated itself to the production and distribution of independent and arthouse films throughout North America, as well as the restoration of older foreign and American films.
Charles S. Cohen is a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and the owner and Chairman/CEO of Cohen Media Group (CMG) which produces and distributes independent and arthouse films throughout North America. Cohen Media Group is today the largest American distributor of French films in the United States, while its specialty home entertainment label, the Cohen Film Collection, releases restored and remastered editions of classic Hollywood and foreign films. Cohen Media Group has distributed over 113 feature films and 10 shorts. Coming off the back of its success at the 2017 Academy Awards® with Best Foreign Language Film winner The Salesman, Cohen Media Group scored two nominations in 2018, marking CMG’s 8th Oscar nomination since the company was formed 10 years ago.
A token of Cohen’s dedication to world cinema, French-Lebanese drama The Insult directed by Ziad Doueiri was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, while Faces Places, from iconic French director Agnès Varda and artist JR, was nominated for Best Documentary Feature. The Company has also acquired the rights to over 800 films, including cinema landmarks from Douglas Fairbanks and Buster Keaton. Charles Cohen recently acquired Merchant Ivory Productions, and restored iconic titles such as Shakespeare Wallah, Howards End and Maurice.
Notable French films distributed by CMG include Rachid Bouchareb’s Hors la loi, Jean Becker’s La Tête en friche, Stéphanie Foenkinos and David Foekinos’s La délicatesse, Benoît Jacquot’s Trois Cœurs and Les adieux à la reine, Lorraine Levy’s Le Fils de l’Autre, François Ozon’s Dans la maison, Gilles Legrand’s Tu seras mon fils, Patrice Chéreau’s La Reine Margot, Bertrand Tavernier’s Voyage à travers le cinéma français, and Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s Mustang both nominated for an Academy Awards® in the category Best Foreign Language Film.
One year ago, Charles S. Cohen spectacularly renovated and reopened one of New York City’s most revered movie houses, the historic Quad Cinema in the heart of Greenwich Village, New York City.
In 2017, Cohen’s acquisition of the iconic Paris cinema La Pagode, an integral part of French cultural history, which dates back to 1896, adds to his growing catalogue of arthouse cinemas. Mr. Cohen is currently working with the French government on the plans of the restoration of this Parisian landmark.
In late 2018, Mr. Cohen purchased Landmark Theatres, the nation’s largest specialized theatre chain dedicated to independent cinema with 252 screens in 27 markets.
Mr. Cohen is the Chairman of the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF). He is also a trustee of the FACE Foundation (French-American Cultural Exchange), the Museum of The Moving Image, the Real Estate Board of New York and Congregation Emanu-El of the City of New York.
The Order of the Legion of Honor is the highest award bestowed by the French government. Founded by Napoleon Bonaparte to recognize outstanding achievement in the military as well as in the public and private sectors, the award recognizes those who have rendered over twenty years of eminent service to France or, more broadly, it commends persons whose achievements uphold France’s ideals. American honorees include Renée Fleming, Toni Morrison, Robert O. Paxton, Barbra Streisand, and the late Elie Wiesel, as well as hundreds of World War II veterans.
The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, digital innovation, 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, intellectuals and innovators to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships 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. www.frenchculture.org
Camille Desprez, Cultural Services of the French Embassy, firstname.lastname@example.org, +1.212.439.1417