Jane Fonda will receive this year’s Lumière Award at the 10th Lumière Festival in Lyon, France.
Describing the Oscar-winning actress, festival director Thierry Fremaux said Fonda is “a feminist, activist, and she remains a star.”
The festival said it was honoring Fonda for an “acting career that has led her from Sidney Pollack to Arthur Penn, from René Clément to Roger Vadim; for her willingness to embody fierce independence from a young age …” It also stressed the actress’ work as “a committed, life-long activist, ahead of her time as a vanguard of ideals,” calling her a “symbol of struggles for freedom, anti-racism and peace” as well as “an international star, an icon spanning several decades of audiences.”
“I am honored to be invited to the Lumière Festival in Lyon,” Fonda said, adding that she was “over the moon” upon hearing the news that she would receive the award.
As part of its tribute, the fest will screen Susan Lacy’s documentary “Jane Fonda in Five Acts” and also celebrate her family’s legacy with a special homage to her father, Henry Fonda.
The actress follows such high-profile Lumière Award winners as Wong Kar-wai, Catherine Deneuve, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Ken Loach and Clint Eastwood.
The largest international festival of classic cinema, the Lumière Festival takes place Oct. 13-21.
As part of its ongoing focus on women cineastes, the fest will also pay tribute to Muriel Box, a driving force in British post-war cinema.
Actress and director Liv Ullmann and French singer Bernard Lavilliers are among this year’s special guests.
The festival is also feting American filmmaker Richard Thorpe and French cineaste Henri Decoin with retrospectives, including screenings of five 35mm prints of Thorpe’s works, among them 1950 Italian immigrant drama “Black Hand,” set in 1900 New York and starring Gene Kelly and J. Carrol Naish. In recognizing Decoin, a discovery for many, being less well known than prior honorees such as Jacques Becker, the fest continues its celebration of French cinema history.
Special events dedicated to late French filmmaker Robert Enrico and fated silent era comedian Max Linder, described the latter as “surprising, shocking, ingratiating, amusing,” are also taking place.
In a three-part love letter to silent cinema in collaboration with the Cohen Film Collection in Columbus, Ohio, and Italy’s Cineteca di Bologna, Buster Keaton will receive the third part of a full program homage. Also being celebrated is Catherine Hessling, a star of French silent cinema who appeared in the early films of her husband Jean Renoir, many now restored by Studiocanal.
In addition, the fest will showcase different historical formats – from A2, 55:1 via Cinemascope down to 1.33:1, and from Super 8mm to 70mm Imax, including, in collaboration with Warner Bros., a 70mm screening of “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
This year the festival will also introduce a new prize in memory of French film historian, influencer and activist Pierre Rissient.
Launched in 2009, Lyon’s Lumière Festival notched up a remarkable 175,000 admissions in 2017 for an event which is made up of restorations, re-issues and documentaries on film history. It has also grown notably, from 170 screenings in 2009 to 421 last year.
“It is amazing how Lyon audiences have followed the festival since its inaugural edition. Every year we have to ask for more screenings. The people of Lyon and history of cinema is linked,” said Maelle Arnaud, the Lumière Festival’s head programmer.
French film stars often introduce titles, explaining why they feel passionately about a classic title. Many industry players attend more than once – Quentin Tarantino is the prime example.