Catherine Deneuve

Lumière Award 2016


Px Lum 2016
© Patrick Swirc - Modds


It is French actress Catherine Deneuve who will receive the 8th Lumière Award. She will be presented with the distinction during the Lumière festival, to be held in Lyon and its Metropolitan area, from Saturday, October 8 to Sunday, October 16, 2016. Referring to the iconic actress, Martin Scorsese, who received the Lumière Award in 2015, declared, «She is a goddess of the cinema.»

Presented by the Institut Lumière, the Lumière Award is given to Catherine Deneuve for all that she is, what she does, what she says, what roles she plays, what she sings, and for how she has enchanted us, forever and always.

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Catherine Deneuve was born in Paris into a family of actors: her father, Maurice Dorléac, was a theater and film actor while her mother, Renée Simonot, was a boarder at the Odéon Théâtre. One of Deneuve’s sisters, Françoise, would also become an actress.

Catherine Deneuve takes her first steps in front of the camera in 1957 in The Twilight Girls by André Hunebelle and obtains other small roles (Ladies Man by Jacques-Gérard Cornu, The Door Slams by Fermaud Michel & Jacques Poitrenaud, the «Sophie» segment directed by Marc Allégret in the collective film Tales of Paris).

In the early 1960s, she meets film director Roger Vadim. Alongside Annie Girardot, she acts for him in Vice and Virtue, an important role that will usher in a glorious decade. Catherine Deneuve illuminates the films of Jacques Demy (The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, which made her a star, The Young Girls of Rochefort, Donkey Skin) and dives into the world of Roman Polanski (Repulsion), Luis Buñuel (Belle de jour, Tristana) and François Truffaut (Mississippi Mermaid).

Catherine Deneuve has appeared in countless films; she is a demanding actress and a popular star, the muse of the great masters and the unfailing companion of young directors. Traversing both French and international works with elegance and intensity, carrying a distinction uniquely hers and gifted with that unmistakable, distant voice, Deneuve has worked with the biggest names in the French cinema (André Téchiné, Agnès Varda, Jean- Pierre Melville, Alain Corneau, Régis Wargnier, Jean-Paul Rappeneau, Philippe de Broca, Philippe Garrel, Benoît Jacquot), European cinema (Luis Buñuel, Manoel de Oliveira, Raoul Ruiz, Marco Ferreri, Dino Risi, Mario Monicelli, Lars von Trier), American cinema (Terence Young, Tony Scott, Robert Aldrich) and recently with the new generation of filmmakers (Gaël Morel, François Ozon, Marjane Satrapi, Christophe Honoré, Arnaud Desplechin, Emmanuelle Bercot).

If her filmography is astonishing, so are her roles… playing women who are strong or fragile, enigmatic or routine, it is with a soft distance that she develops the gift of ubiquity: be everywhere and leave them wanting more, take short cuts, accept only roles she passionately wants. Catherine Deneuve the myth has a prodigious intuition for selecting filmmakers with whom she wants to embark on the journey. «I do not work on my posterity. I feel like a passenger.»

Her career has been crowned with numerous awards. In terms of her personal path, despite her discretion, she has been an advocate for heritage cinema for years as an ambassador for the preservation of film heritage for Unesco. A committed woman, Catherine Deneuve took a stand on women’s rights, on abolishing the death penalty and on supporting refugees. In 1985, she was also the face of Marianne (a national symbol of the French Republic).

Speaking of Catherine Deneuve:

Arnaud Desplechin: «She wanted to change the cinema and her soft intransigence turned everything upside down. She invented a new way of watching and loving a film.»

Régis Wargnier: «Her face is like a screen that reveals and hides.»

Roman Polanski: «Working with her is like dancing the tango with a fierce rider.»

André Téchiné: «I learned to see the world in the light of a late summer afternoon, when things take on their true value. She is the embodiment of the he evening light, its expanse and silence.»

François Truffaut: «With her romantic and fragile appearance and her sublime face suggesting a second life full of secret thoughts, she creates the dream and invents the mystery.»

The Lumière Award will be presented to Catherine Deneuve on Friday, October 14 at the Lyon Conference Center in the presence of the public and many special guests from around the world.

There are no available tickets for the Catherine Deneuve Master Class and the presentation of the Lumière Award, but you can still see the actress for the world premiere of the restored copy of Indochine at the Halle Tony Garnier on Sunday, October 16 at 3pm. Ticket on sale here


The Lumière Award was created by Thierry Frémaux and Bertrand Tavernier to celebrate a filmmaker or personality of the cinema in Lyon, the very place where the Cinematograph was invented by Louis and Auguste Lumière, and where they shot their first film, Leaving the Factory, in 1895. Because we must express our appreciation to the directors and artists of the cinema who fill our lives, the Lumière Award is a distinction reflecting time, gratitude, and admiration.


Former Lumière award recipients:

Clint Eastwood Lumière Award 2009 [vidéo]
Milos Forman Lumière Award 2010 [vidéo]
Gérard Depardieu Lumière Award 2011 [vidéo]
Ken Loach Lumière Award 2012 [vidéo]
Quentin Tarantino Lumière Award 2013 [vidéo]
Pedro Almodóvar Lumière Award 2014 [vidéo
Martin Scorsese Prix Lumière 2015 [vidéo]

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