A look back at the history of the Lumière Award


Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne will succeed Francis Ford Coppola, Jane Fonda, Wong Kar-wai, Catherine Deneuve, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Ken Loach, Gérard Depardieu, Milos Forman and Clint Eastwood, who all received the distinction in the birthplace of the Lumière Cinematograph.

Since 2009, the Lumière Award has honoured a film personality for his or her entire body of work and pivotal role in the history of cinema. Presented during a gala ceremony in the presence of a myriad of artists, professionals, journalists and festivalgoers, its international scope, prestigious list of recipients and resulting media impact have given the Lumière Award an ambition of becoming a "Nobel Prize" in cinema. During the last edition of the festival in October 2019, the press claimed, "There is a Nobel Prize for literature, a Pritzker Prize for architecture, and why should the Lumière Award not be the counterpart for cinema? This is what it is becoming, every fall, recognizing a (very) big name in cinema”.


At the heart of a specific economy, the Lumière festival is a driving force in the restoration of classic films during each edition. In this spirit, last year, the Lumière Award, bestowed upon Francis Ford Coppola, had allowed the festival to offer "one of the retrospectives of his most accomplished and complete films ever shown to the public", in the words of James Mockoski, director of archives, post-production and restorations of American Zoetrope. The director of Apocalypse Now concluded the award ceremony with these words, "I felt in Lyon three things that are sorely lacking in our world: friendship, enthusiasm and celebration".

The Lumière Award is a distinction reflecting time, gratitude and admiration. It was inspired, among other things, by the 1992 visit to Lyon of Joseph L. Mankiewicz, who, a few seconds after his arrival, wished to know the exact location where Louis Lumière had set down his camera to shoot Leaving the Factories. Standing on the spot, he closed his eyes and exclaimed, "Thank you, Lumière". Ever since, the Lumière Award has been a way of expressing our gratitude to the artists of cinema who inhabit our lives.

The Lumière festival will run from October 10 to 18 in Lyon and its metropolis. Organized every year by the team of the Lumière Institute and supported by the Metropolis of Lyon and the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region, as well as by many private partners, the Lumière festival has established itself as one of the premiere events of the autumn season.
The International Classic Film Market, which will hold its 8th edition, has become the global meeting place for professionals in the sector.

This event is made ​​possible by the Métropole de Lyon and the Auvergne Rhône-Alpes Region. It is also supported by the National Center of Cinematography, the city of Lyon and the Ministry of Culture and Communication.
The festival also enjoys the essential support of over 70 businesses and individuals.

They are warmly thanked for their loyalty and their sensitivity to themes important to the Lumière festival.


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