Aishwarya was conferred upon a civilian award by the French government for her contribution to the arts on the occasion of her birthday last year. Responding to a question, French Ambassador to India Francois Richier told reporters here yesterday that Aishwarya is always respected in France because of her association with the Cannes film festival.
"She is very dear to our heart and we are very grateful to her," said Richier, who had conferred the civilian award to the actress on behalf of the French government. "The Cannes festival will have a special focus on Indian Cinema where we will invite Indian film stars," the Ambassador said, adding that Aishwarya would also be invited. Aishwarya's French connection is a long one, right from the time she has been endorsing a French cosmetic brand, he said.