Lyon fest honors Corman, Wellman

Gerard Depardieu will receive the Prix Lumiere at October’s Lumiere 2011 Grand Lyon Film Festival.

Made up entirely of tributes, retros, revivals and movie restorations, the third Lumiere will also pay tribute to William Wellman and Roger Corman, plus Warner Home Video and Warner Archive. It will also host the Europa Distribution confab for the first time.

Run by Lyon’s Institut Lumiere — presided over by Bertrand Tavernier and directed by Cannes’ general manager Thierry Fremaux — fest runs Oct. 3-9.

Prix Lumiere was awarded to Clint Eastwood in 2009 and Milos Forman in 2010.

“The Prix Lumiere will be really a ‘fete Gerard Depardieu,’ not just an award,” Fremaux told Daily Variety.

“Lyon is about admiration. Actors are popular in France but not taken into consideration so much by movie buffs,” he continued.

“And Gerard Depardieu’s career stretches from Francois Truffaut to Francis Veber, Maurice Pialat to Jean-Paul Rappeneau, a lot of people who have made films among the best in French cinema in the last 40 years.”

The Warner tribute will look at WB’s contribution to film via restorations, reissues and the Warner Archive DVD, Blu-ray and VOD website.

The Wellman tribute encompasses silent films, including 1927’s “Wings,” and runs through to 1951’s “Westward the Women.” The Wellman tribute takes in titles from the 30s — his strongest period, said Fremaux — including “Heroes for Sale” and “Wild Boys of the Road.”

Corman will attend a screening of Alex Stapleton’s biodoc “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel.”

Analyzing digital change, the fifth Europa Distribution — a think tank, lobby and networking org repping 110 indie distributors — takes place Oct. 6-9.Lumiere 2011 features a complete retro of French helmer Jacques Becker, with three restored copies of films from Gaumont, and the world premieres of eight new prints from StudioCanal.

“We traditionally put Jean Renoir, Julien Duvivier, Sacha Guitry and Henri-Georges Clouzot at the summit of French cinema, and Becker is up there with them,” Fremaux said.

Among a wealth of restorations, Pathe and the Jerome Seydoux-Pathe Foundation will present a restored, digital copy of Marcel Carne’s 1945 classic “Children of Paradise,” and Kevin Brownlow Rex Ingram’s “The Four Horses of the Apocalypse.”Lumiere has had an immediate impact, selling 60,000 tickets last year. Its aim, however, is to become an international fixture.

“This festival is about admiration, discovery. We’re very confident there’s an audience that is very open to these films, and which will see the films on new prints, in the same spirit as when they originally opened,” said Fremaux.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more