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Wim Wenders named as this year's prestigious Lumière Award recipient

Wim Wenders will receive this year's Prix Lumière
Wim Wenders will receive this year's Prix Lumière Copyright Festival Lumière - Lionel Hahn/Getty Images
Copyright Festival Lumière - Lionel Hahn/Getty Images
By David Mouriquand
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The celebrated director behind 'Paris, Texas', 'Wings of Desire', 'Buena Vista Social Club' and this year's Cannes highlight 'Perfect Days' succeeds last year's laureate Tim Burton as the Lumière Prize recipient.

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Emblematic German director Wim Wenders will be this year’s recipient of France’s prestigious Lumière Award at the 15th edition of the classic film-focused Lumière Festival in Lyon.

Running from 14 to 22 October, Wenders will receive the Prix Lumière on Friday 20 October 2023.

He follows in the footsteps of those who have won the "Nobel Prize for cinema”: Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman, Ken Loach, Quentin Tarantino, Pedro Almodóvar, Martin Scorsese, Catherine Deneuve, Wong Kar-wai, Jane Fonda, Francis Ford Coppola, the Dardenne brothers, Jane Campion, and Tim Burton, as the 2022 laureate.

“This is the man who has embodied the revival of German and European cinema at the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, A wandering filmmaker, he reinvented the road movie. He is the director of Paris, Texas and Wings of Desire, a man who has pursued his trajectory as an artist and has just achieved a dazzling double triumph with his two most recent films, Anselm and Perfect Days,” the Institut Lumière said in a statement.

Wenders won the Palme d'Or for Paris, Texas at the 1984 Cannes Film Festival, and the Director's Prize for Wings of Desire in 1987, also at Cannes. His documentary Salt of the Earth, about photographer Sebastião Salgado, also won the César for Best Documentary film in 2015.

This year, Wenders was back in Competition in Cannes with his latest film, Perfect Days. A highlight of this year’s edition, it won its lead star, the wonderful Japanese actor Koji Yakusho, the Best Male Acting prize.

The film follows an aging toilet cleaner in Tokyo and is a humane and meditative tale about the lyrical joys of everyday blessings and embraces what the Japanese refer to as Komorebi – literally “sunlight leaking through trees”, a concept that recognizes the impermanence of life and gives space to the dance between hardships and lighter moments while we still can. Yakusho’s gentle and complex performance beautifully embraces this, and Perfect Days is comfortably Wenders’ best film in years. Following its premiere in Cannes, audiences in Lyon can look forward to seeing this remarkable film come October.

Festival Lumière
Wim Wenders - Lumière Prize winner 2023Festival Lumière

The Institut Lumière also noted that Wenders, 77, was among the first filmmakers to be invited by the Lumière Institute 1991.

“It was an obvious choice to celebrate, in Lyon, the birthplace of the Lumière Cinematograph, this voyaging director, a multi-faceted virtuoso and visionary, an accomplished photographer who has never ceased to reinvent himself,” said the festival.

The Lumière Film Festival and the Lumière Award were launched in 2009 by Cannes Film Festival Delegate General Thierry Frémaux. Situated on the site of the former home and factory of cinema pioneers Auguste and Louis Lumière, the Institut Lumière was created in 1982 to preserve their memory and cinema heritage.

The Lumière Festival will take place from 14 to 22 October 2023. Nearly 450 screenings will be programmed, and there will also be a classic film market for professionals.

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