The second highest civilian French honour was conferred on the film producer for her contribution to world cinema
Riding high on the success of her recent Hindi feature film Pagglait, Guneet Monga has more to celebrate. The acclaimed filmmaker is conferred with the honour of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres), the second highest civilian French honour by H.E. Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs on April 13 at the Residence of France, New Delhi.
The film producer has been honored for her contribution to the world cinema through her many successful Indo-French productions and relentless work towards women empowerment including her recently founded cinema collective Indian Women Rising.
Her movie The Lunchbox was the first Indo-French co-production to earn CNC grant for a feature film and to break out globally. In 2013, the Irrfan starrer received a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival and won Critics Week Viewer’s Choice Award also known as Grand Rail dOr at the 66th Cannes Film Festival. Her other Indo-French productions include the acclaimed Masaan and Taj Mahal and her participation at the Cannes Film festival continued with various other titles like Peddlers, Gangs of Wasseypur, and Monsoon Shootout.
Receiving the award at the event, Guneet Monga said, “I’ve been in awe of French Cinema even since I began my career as a filmmaker hence being honoured with the title ‘Chevalier dans I’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres’ is extremely special for me, it feels like my life and my work has come to full circle today. With my content, I’ve constantly strived to uplift women narrative in cinema.” She added, “…I dedicate this award to every girl with a dream. Continue to Dream freely and create fearlessly. The universe is always conspiring in favour of the brave and I stand here as a proof, of that! May our tribe rise!”
A BAFTA nominee, she is amongst the first producers from India to be invited in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Founder of Sikhya Entertainment, her production house has been at the helm of pushing content-driven cinema. In a collaborative effort to uplift Indian female content creators across the globe, Monga co-founded the cinema collective- Indian Women Rising in 2021, which aided the run of the critically acclaimed short film Bittu at the Oscars.
Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France rewards contributors across the globe under three categories – Commandeur, Officier and Chevalier. Earlier recipients include prominent names like Meryl Streep, Leonardo DiCaprio, Bruce Willis who have been felicitated with the Commandeur title, while Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Michael Keaton amongst others have won the Officier title. Guneet Monga would be conferred with the Chevalier, after Shakira, Kamal Hassan, Nandita Das amongst others.