A Brief History of the Lumíère Film Festival

The Lumíère Film Festival is one of the fastest growing international film festival. The festival was founded to honor the Lumiere brothers who founded cinematography in the late nineteenth century. The annual festival takes place in Lyons, France and is currently in its ninth year. This year’s Lumère Film Festival takes place October 14 through October 22.

Here is a history of the Lumíère Film Festival.

It honors classic international films

The Lumíère Film Festal was first organized by Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Premaux in 2009. Tavernier serves as President and Fremaux serves as the festival’s Director. The two men founded the organization in honor of Auguste and Louis Lumíère, the brothers who invented cinematography in 1895 in Lyon, France. The annual film festival holds film screenings, hosts speakers and holds discussion roundtables every October in Lyon. The goal of the festival is to celebrate the history of cinema in honor of the Lumíère brothers. The festival screens past films, restored prints, retrospectives, tributes and master classes. Each year the festival honors an international film personality with The Lumíère Award.

It is fast growing

The Lumíère Film Festival has grown quickly during the past decade. Last year the festival hosted 160,500 festival visitors and 1000 film industry professionals. This year the festival has added an extra day to its schedules to fit more events in. The venue has also expanded. Along with several film viewing venues, the Lumíère Film Festival has added meeting space for roundtable discussions, speakers and commercial operations. New screens and sound equipment updates have been made. In an attempt to make the festival more international in character, the organizers began to invite more countries to present at the festival in 2013 which expanded the number of films screened and created a more diverse environment.

Past honorees

Classic international films have been re-screened at the Lumíère Film Festival throughout its history. Films include 1933’s “King Kong”, Steven Spielberg’s classic “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”, “Chariots of Fire”, “Reds”, a restored version of “Annie Hall” and the 1981 French drama “Le Pont du Nord”. Clint Eastwood was the first recipient of the The Lumíère Award (Prix Lumíère). Subsequent honorees include Milos Forman, Gerard Depardieu, Ken Loach, Quentin Tarntino, Pedro Almadovar, Martin Scorsese and Catherine Deneuve.


This year the Lumíère Film Festival will honor Wong Kar-Wai with the Lumíère Award. Wong’s filmography will be presented. The director will also present a 10 title “Carte Blanche” list of film favorites which will include Andrew Lau and Allan Mak’s “Internal Affairs”, Johnnie To’s “PTU” and Stephen Chow’s “Kung Fu Hustle”. This year will also feature keynote speaker Jerome Soulet who will discuss different film mediums. Guillermo Del Toro’s latest film “The Shape of Water” will have its French premiere at the festival, and the director will present a “Carte Blanche” of favorite classic films including his Orson Well’s “The Trial” and Mario Bava’s 1965 science fiction classic “Planet of the Vampires”. Michael Mann will present a restored version of “Heat”. Manuel Chiche will be presented with the Raymond Chirat Award. Some of the 400 international classic films that will be screened this year include Greek, Hungarian and Latvian Films.



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