Lumière museum Lyon

Lyon, the birthplace of cinema

As the home town of the Lumière brothers, Lyon cultivates the art of cinema with passion via the Lumière Institute and its Lumière festival. But cinema in Lyon is also about transmission and innovation like the development of the Pôle Pixel, with over 50 companies involved in cinema industry.

4 questions for Thierry Frémaux Director, Lumière Institute and Lumière Festival, Managing Director, Cannes Film Festival.

Can you tell us a little about the Lumière museum?

The museum is located within the walls of the château owned by the Lumière family, inventors of cinema. It has existed for 30 years, presenting the birth of movies, and the Lumière cinematograph in particular, which enabled them to shoot the very first films. It also goes over all the various stages and highlights of the Lumière family’s second great innovation: colour photography.

Apart from the museum, what can be seen at the Lumière Institute?

The Lumière Institute has a film library that projects films every evening in the former factory, and a library. Because of it, the district has recovered its identity, and I think locals are always quite moved when they enter the former Lumière factory to see films that have marked the history of cinema.

What of the Lumière Festival, Lyon’s essential cinema-related event?

Since 2009, this festival has been celebrating the history of cinema in the heart of the district where the 7th Art originated. During one week in October, we project over a hundred overlooked or recently restored films, and organize meetings with directors and actors past and present. More than 300 sessions are organized in 22 communes within Greater Lyon. Locals love the festival, some say they don’t go to the pictures very often, but never miss the festival!

What are the highlights of this festival?

The Lumière prize is one of th e highlights. It rewards an actor or director for their life’s work, as well as the relationship they maintain with the history of cinema. The winners include Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Pedro Almodovar, Quentin Tarantino, and Martin Scorsese, and all have come to bear witness to their love of the movies.

Did you know? The 1st film in history entitled “Sortie d’usine” was shot in Lyon. The street where it was shot has even been officially named “Rue du Premier Film”!

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