28 Apr – Ms. Koh Mei Lee, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) has recently been conferred with the rank of Chevalier (Knight) by the France National Order of Merit for her work in promoting French arts, music and culture through various film festivals.
The honour, which was presented to Ms Koh on 27 April by His Excellency Mr. Roland Galharague, Ambassador of France to Malaysia and took place at Aurum Theatre at The Gardens Mall in Kuala Lumpur, is a way to "recognise her tireless commitment to the development and proliferation of French culture in Malaysia through cinema".
It is also a show of gratitude for her continuous efforts to support the screening of French movies as part of the annual Le French Festival, amongst other initiatives with the embassy, in GSC.
"It is an honour to be placed in such distinguished ranks amongst other honourees before, all of whom have contributed to the advancement and development of French culture in their respective fields," said Ms Koh. "It is the result of many parties coming together including my team at GSC, the French Embassy, Alliance Française, and Institut Français to promote French culture through cinema, and I look forward to continuing our journey together,"
Koh's collaboration with the Embassy of France and Alliance Française began as early as 2002 when she began her work as the Chief Executive Officer of GSC, continuing the French Art and Film Festival which had just started the year before.
Her conferment event coincided with the launch of "France in Cinema" - a new series of films that will be available from May 2021 to March 2022 - a joint collaboration by Alliance Française and GSC. The series of six films - that will hopefully enable Malaysians to experience French films - are of a variety of genres that include comedy, drama, and even animation.
Now, the annual Le French Festival has become one of the largest film festivals in the Malaysian cinema circuit. Her work also contributed to UNIFRANCE's decision to organise its first French cinema market in South East Asia - which took place in Kuala Lumpur in July 2019.
Among those who have received similar honour in the past in Malaysia include businesmann SM Nasarudin; and L'Oreal Managing Director in Malaysia & Taiwan, Alvin Michael Hew.