LYON, France — “I consider France my second home,” Clint Eastwood said Saturday night as he became the first recipient of the Prix Lumiere at the inaugural Grand Lyon Film Festival in the city that gave birth to the cinema.
Eastwood, who will begin shooting for the first time in France today on his new film, “Hereafter,” starring Matt Damon, received the award at a ceremony in front of 3,000 people.
He tipped his hat to cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumiere by saying, “I owe them more than 50 years of employment.”
New fest, which is devoted exclusively to restorations, revivals and retrospectives, is run by Institute Lumiere director and Cannes Film Festival topper Thierry Fremaux and unspooled Thursday-Sunday in 41 venues around the city.
Institute Lumiere president Bertrand Tavernier said, “Every film of Clint has something of Lincoln in it, which is the best of America.”
A three-minute assembly of clips from Eastwood’s forthcoming “Invictus” capped the evening along with a performance by the honoree’s son Kyle and his jazz quartet.