Antonio Zeccola is Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres [fr]

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S. E. M. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassadeur de France en Australie
© Charlie Kinross Photography

Founder and Executive Chairman of Palace Cinemas and Palace Films, Antonio Zeccola was awarded France’s most prestigious artistic award, the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) on Tuesday May 5th during a ceremony held at the Alliance Française in Melbourne. The Order of Arts and Letters, which was presented to Antonio by the French Ambassador, Christophe Lecourtier, is given to recipients in recognition of significant contributions to the arts, literature, or the propagation of these fields.

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S. E. M. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassadeur de France en Australie et Antonio Zeccola
© Charlie Kinross Photography

Antonio’s passion for cinema began a small town in Italy, where his father ran films in the local town hall; a story that has a very striking resemblance to Tornatore’s cinematic classic Cinema Paradiso. Taking the passion for film instilled in him by his father he immigrated to Australia in 1956 and from a town hall in Melbourne’s outer suburb in the sixties Antonio began exhibiting films, finding a niche with films imported from Italy.

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S. E. M. Christophe Lecourtier, Ambassadeur de France en Australie et Antonio Zeccola
© Charlie Kinross Photography

Encouraged by his early success Antonio went on to build a group of quality cinemas aimed at adults instead of teenagers; programming Australian, independent and foreign films instead of just Hollywood generated films. As well as establishing Palace Cinemas’ 22 quality cinemas around Australia, including several heritage listed theatres saved from redevelopment, Antonio has built a robust distribution arm, Palace Films specialising in niche, foreign-language and high-quality films.

Antonio Zeccola’s contribution to the cinema industry in Australia has played a significant role in shaping the Australian cultural landscape. His outstanding contribution has been acknowledged previously, when in 2005 he was awarded the title of “Cavaliere” by the Republic of Italy, in recognition of his promotion of Italian culture in Australia. In accepting the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Antonio has joined an elite group of artists outside France who have also received the award, including Cate Blanchett, David Stratton, Martin Scorsese, Philip Glass, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep and Steven Spielberg.

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Gilbert Ducasse, Président de l’Alliance française de Melbourne, Antonio Zeccola et Eric Soulier, Conseiller de coopération et d’action culturelle auprès de l’Ambassade de France
© Charlie Kinross Photography

Dernière modification : 19/05/2015

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