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Lyon is known as the gastronomic capital of France, but it has a rich cinematic heritage, too. Since 2009, the country’s third-largest city has also staged the Festival Lumière, one of the major gatherings dedicated to classic films.
Named in honour of cinema pioneers Louis and Auguste Lumière, who lived and worked in Lyon, the festival features a rich and varied line-up. Highlights this year include retrospectives on directors Jean-luc Godard and Henri-georges Clouzot, encounters with film-makers, actors and composers, film-concerts, and a memorabilia fair.
The numbers are impressive: 150,000 visitors are expected to attend nearly 400 meetings and 177 screenings from 14-22 October. Main venues include the Institut Lumière, location of the festival village, and the Lyon Auditorium and Convention Centre. Events are also held in the wider Métropole de Lyon, which takes in 59 communes.
Festivities culminate in the awarding of the Prix Lumière, which recognises the achievements of a leading figure in the film industry. In 2016, the award went to the French actress Catherine Deneuve, and this year’s recipient will be the Chinese film director Wong Kar-wai. festival-lumiere.org See History Trail on page 42 for more on the Lumière brothers.