PARIS - Thierry Fremaux, the artistic director and general delegate of the Cannes Film Festival, and Oscar-winning actress Marion Cotillard will be honored at the Lumieres Awards, France's equivalent to the Golden Globes.The academy of the Lumieres Awards, which is composed of Paris-based members of the foreign press, will pay tribute and hand out honorary awards to Cotillard and Fremaux during the 22nd edition of the ceremony Jan. 30.Since winning an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Cesar and a Bafta...
When Thierry Fremaux was appointed artistic director of the Cannes Festival in October 2000, it was the most important festival in the world. After 16 editions of his programming – and full-on leadership when he replaced Gilles Jacob as delegate general in July 2007 – Cannes remains the most important festival in the world.
In other ways, it has evolved. Easygoing, innovative, a man of catholic film tastes and blessed by a showman’s panache, Fremaux has achieved a detente with Hollywood’s studios, whose big movies have returned to the Croisette. He has opened the festival up to genre and animation, and strengthened Un Certain Regard through a mix of emerging talent and established auteurs.
Also under Fremaux, Cannes has begun a process of international outreach, transforming from a once-a-year event to a round-the-year service for the industry, seen most clearly in the co-launch of Argentina’s Ventana Sur, soon Latin America’s most important film meet-mart.
To all of which Fremaux has brought a sense of cinemagoing as spectacle, live social event and community bond, which has flowered in his other career, at Lyon’s Institute Lumière, where he started to work in 1983 and launched Lyon’s Lumière Festival in 2009, with Institut Lumière president Bertrand Tavernier. Screening almost entirely restorations, re-issues and re-runs, and supported by Clint Eastwood, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodovar and Martin Scorsese, all of whom have travelled to Lyon to pick up the event’s Lumière Award, the festival registered 165,000 admissions in 2016. The Institut has also saved three local cinema theaters in central Lyon from closing, renovating and relaunching them under the Lumière label, an unusual but groundbreaking step for a cinematheque.