Following such recipients as Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino and Pedro Almodovar, Martin Scorsese has been selected as the 2015 Prix Lumière honoree. The Lumière Festival is a retrospective event that screens classic and contemporary films, often in remastered versions, throughout the city of Lyon, the birthplace of cinema, in mid-October. Created by Bertrand Tavernier and Cannes Film Festival chief Thierry Frémaux, it’s an annual love letter to the movies. The tribute ceremonies have become somewhat legendary, with Tarantino’s like a rock concert two years back and Almodovar’s last year a rousing Spanish musical feast. Scorsese was jury president in Cannes in 1998, before Frémaux took over programming the selection. The director remains a familiar face on the Croisette, however, and in 2007 co-founded with Frémaux and Gian Luca Farinelli the World Cinema Foundation to finance the restoration of films from Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa. The Lumière Fest says it chose Scorsese as this year’s honoree “for his work, for his generous love of film, for his tireless fight for the preservation of the cinema of the past, for his stories, for his documentaries, his love for music, for his kindness to young filmmakers from around the world and also for his thunderous laugh.” Frémaux and Tavernier will present the Prix Lumière to Scorsese on October 16. Below is a tribute clip the Lumière Fest created to announce the prize.
The Golden Nymph Awards were handed out Thursday night at the 55th annual Monte-Carlo Television Festival. Among the winners were Welcome To Sweden, the Swedish comedy that airs on NBC in the U.S., for Best International Comedy Series. For a second consecutive year, Outstanding Comedy Actor went to Steven Van Zant for Norway’s Lilyhammer, which also won Best Euro Comedy. Italy’s Gomorrah won for Best International Drama and Outstanding Actor (Marco D’Amore), and the U.K.’s Happy Valley took The European Drama prize and Outstanding Actress (Sarah Lancashire). All three Audience Awards went to U.S. series: NCIS (drama), How I Met Your Mother (comedy) and The Bold And The Beautiful (soap opera). The full list of winners is here.
Businessman and West Ham Football Club chairman David Sullivan has made an investment in fast-growing UK indie distributor Signature Films. The company was launched in 2011 and has moved aggressively, particularly in the DVD and digital space. Signature owner and managing director Marc Goldberg now hopes that Sullivan’s cash injection will allow the company to compete for higher profile theatrical titles. “I admire what Marc and the Signature team have achieved in a very short space of time,” said Sullivan. “From what I have seen, there is clearly a gap in the UK market for a company like Signature to thrive and grow. I am looking forward to giving Signature the resource and support to expand the business. I will have a hands-off role and allow the great team to continue running the company in the impressive manner that it already does.” Signature’s recent releases include No. 1 home entertainment chart title, Legends Of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, and the UK’s biggest Premium VOD release, Predestination.