Created by Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux and filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier, the Lumiere Festival is due to take place in Lyon from October 10-18. Largely a retrospective event with hundreds of restored films, thematic strands and uncovered gems, it will also feature some titles officially selected for the Cannes Classics 2020 edition which was unable to be held owing to the coronavirus crisis. Today, the Lumière Fest announced that this year’s recipients of the honorary Prix Lumière are Belgian auteurs Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
The brothers are among the winningest filmmakers at Cannes, having taken the Palme d’Or twice (for Rosetta in 1999 and The Child in 2005), as well as prizes for screenwriting and directing, among others. They are known for naturalistic films that tackle social issues and shine a light on the young generation. The Lumière festival calls their work, “human, engaged… and crying out for truth.”
Other notable credits include La Promesse, The Son, Lorna’s Silence, The Kid With A Bike, The Unknown Girl and Young Ahmed. Talent they have worked with include such actors as Emilie Dequenne, Olivier Gourmet, Jérémie Renier, Cécile de France, Marion Cotillard and Adèle Haenel.
“We are very honored to receive the Prix Lumière 2020. For us, two filmmaking brothers, the prize brings with it a certain emotion.” Speaking of the festival’s namesake siblings Auguste and Louis Lumière, the Dardennes explained, “It puts us in contact with the original brotherhood of cinema, with the two brothers who filmed for the first time bodies, faces of men and women, workers leaving their workshops. More than a century later, we film bodies, faces which are the descendants of those filmed by the Lumière brothers and we try each time to film them as if it were the first time. It will be wonderful to receive this Prize as part of the festival which brings together, like nowhere else, the world heritage of cinema and the public today.”
The Dardennes are collectively the 12th recipient of the Lumière Prize, following 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.