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The Lumière Festival - Grand Lyon Film Festival

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Last updated date : 18/09/2023

The birth city of Cinematography hosts the Lumière Festival and invites filmmakers, actors, critics, historians and writers to come and celebrate its vitality and memory. A whole week of films, non-stop!

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Presentation of Lumière Festival

Each year, the festival creates a buzz in Lyon, the city where the cinematograph was created and the first ever film was made. To celebrate this exceptional heritage and highlight the city’s special importance for the world of cinema, this event was created in 2009, along with the Lumière Award, which echoes great prizes awarded for the other arts in Europe and elsewhere.

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The Lumière Festival - Grand Lyon Film Festival

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​Lyon is famous for its praline brioche, its hidden passageways known as ‘traboules’, its famous puppet Guignol and its local football club Olympique Lyonnais. The city has a lot more to offer though. For instance, there is the Lumière Festival, an annual gathering devoted to films, which celebrates Lyon’s role as the birthplace of cinema.

The 2023 edition

The 15th edition of the Festival Lumière will take place from 14 to 23 October 2023.
The programme and guest list are gradually being revealed. What we already know...

The Opening ceremony will take place at the Halle Tony Garnier, on Saturday 14 October at 5.30 pm, in the presence of a host of guest: artists, directors and professionals from the Cinema.
It will be followed by...

Affiche du Livre de la Jungle © Studio Disney / Festival Lumière
  • Retrospectives dedicated to great filmmakers: Robert Altman, Yasujiro Ozu...
  • Huge film screenings, including:
    - the one for families, at the Halle Tony Garnier, on Sunday 15 Otcober at 3 pm: The Jungle Book, to celebrate 100 years of the Disney Studio. 
    - Starwars all-nighter: the cult saga on the giant screen of the Halle Tony Garnier on 21 October at 8.30pm, including bar, entertainment, makeshift dormitory and free breakfast  
  • Cinema concerts to rediscover silent cinema at the Auditorium: Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari (Robert Wiene), on 18 October and The Maxman (Alfred Hitchcock) on 22 October.
  • Invitations to film music composers, actresses and actors, filmmakers...
  • Master classes: Karin Viard, Marisa Paredes, Wes Anderson
  • Exhibitions, 
  • Lumière Classics: a selection of the finest restored prints put forward by distributors and rights-holders.  Most of the French films are subtitled in English.
  • Nearly 450 screenings of restored films, introduced by personalities of the cinema.
  • Places to get together: The festival Village in the Institut Lumière garden, and the Mâchon du Festival in a restaurant.
  • The festival big closing night, with a screening of Jean-Jacques Annaud's 'Au nom de la rose', in a restored print, in the presence of Annaud and a host of guests. At Halle Tony Garnier, Sunday 22 October at 2.45pm.

And of course, Wim Wenders will receive the 15th Lumière Award on Friday 20 October 2023. 

The guest list, like the rest of the programme, is being revealed as the weeks go by: we already know that Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, J.A. Bayona, Marisa Paredes and Karin Viard will be at the festival.
To book your ticket, please click here

Wim Wenders, Prix Lumière 2023 by Gerhard Kassner

The Lumière Award, the pride of the festival

In Lyon, the cradle of cinema, the legacy of the Lumière Brothers is tangible. Each edition is of course marked by the Lumière Award, an award given during a ceremony attended by many artists and spectators in the main room of the Cité Internationale Convention Centre. It is given to an iconic figure in cinema for their life’s work and the list of winners is enough to make any film-lover drool. Clint Eastwood was the first to receive it. He was followed by Milos Forman, Gérard Depardieu, Ken Loach, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, Catherine Deneuve, Wong Kar-wai, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola, Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne, Jane Campion et Tim Burton.
And in 2023, Wim Wenders will receive the Lumière Award.

A festival that cherishes the memory of cinema

The Lumière Festival was conceived of as a tribute. Also known as the Grand Lyon Film Festival, it was the first French festival dedicated to historical films. Initiated by Bertrand Tavernier and Thierry Frémaux, and organised by the Institut Lumière and Greater Lyon, it is the essence of the city’s long cinema tradition. As any Lyonnais will tell you, it was in Lyon, and the Monplaisir neighbourhood to be precise, that the cinematograph was invented by the Lumière Brothers, Louis and Auguste. Lastly, the Lumière Festival is now also the city’s tribute to Bertrand Tavernier. This film-maker from Lyon, who passed away in 2021, was the president of the Institut Lumière from its creation in 1982, as well as the festival from its launch in 2009.

A festival for film buffs that is open to all

Every October since the festival’s creation, Lyon’s passion for cinema reaches fever pitch. In 2021, this gathering, which is now globally renowned, attracted 145,000 festival-goers. There is no Croisette, Oscars or red carpet, so what is its secret? It is without doubt the fresh perspective it brings to works of the past. You will find cult films, retrospectives, forgotten gems finally restored and tributes to major figures in cinema, as well as exhibitions, films screened to live music, masterclasses and the list goes on. The aim of the Lumière Festival is to make high-brow cinema accessible. Held throughout the Lyon urban area for nine days, it reaches out to all audiences, ranging from children in schools and hospitals to people in prison or on the fringes of society.

Where to see the Lumière Festival in Lyon?

The Lumière Festival reaches such a wide audience thanks in particular to its eclectic programme, which covers the entire city. Each year, the film festival comes to 46 locations in 21 towns in the Lyon metropolitan area, with around 170 screenings, including high-profile venues such as the Théâtre Comédie Odéon and the Auditorium de Lyon. Each edition begins with an opening evening at Halle Tony-Garnier, which also hosts the closing screening. For the 13th edition in 2021, for example, the film ‘The Cameraman’ by Buster Keaton and Edward Sedgwick was screened, with musical accompaniment by Vincent Delerm on piano. In the grounds of the Institut Lumière, there is also the Village du Festival Lumière, which becomes a gathering place for the public and guests. There you will find a large DVD market and a cinema book shop, as well as a restaurant and beer bar.

An inclusive and socially engaged festival

Promoting films from the past and paying tribute to major figures in cinema are socially engaged actions in themselves. Building on these actions, the Lumière Classics quality label was created to draw public attention to the finest recent restorations carried out by film archives, producers, distributors and studios from around the world. 
The Lumière Festival is more than this however. Each year, it helps students, refugees, school dropouts and people facing insecurity access the job market. Furthermore, from the outset, the festival established the series ‘Histoire permanente des femmes cinéastes’ (permanent history of women film-makers) to highlight often overlooked female pioneers in the world of cinema.

Want to experience the festival for yourself? Make a note in your diary! The upcoming 15th edition will be held from Saturday the 14th to Sunday the 22nd of October 2023 in Lyon and its metropolitan area.


Lumière Museum

Housed in the birthplace of the cinematograph, the museum offers a chance to discover the Lumière Brothers’ extraordinary inventions, through screenings and interactive exhibits laid out on the four floors of the Lumière mansion built by Antoine, the father of the two famous inventors.