Irene Jacob (“Three Colours: Red”), a critically acclaimed film and theater actor, is set to preside over the Lumière Institute in Lyon, succeeding to Bertrand Tavernier, the revered French filmmaker who died in March.
Tavernier led the institution for nearly four decades and worked closely with Thierry Fremaux, the Lumière Institute’s managing director, and Cannes Film Festival’s general delegate, to host the annual Lumière festival, a star-studded celebration of heritage films and cinema masters. Lyon is actually the birthplace of the Cinematograph and its creators, the Lumiere brothers.
Kicking off on Oct. 9, the event’s 13th edition will pay homage to Tavernier with a special tribute on Oct. 10.
Jacob, who is originally from Switzerland, is the granddaughter of Maurice Jacob, a scientist and humanist who lived in Lyon all his life and has a street named after him in the city. A passionate film buff, Jacob has been involved with the Lumière festival since its inception, introducing films and meeting moviegoers in cinemas and hospitals, among other places.
“Helping guide the future of the Lumière Institute in a city I love is an exciting and inspiring mission”, said Jacob, who was unanimously elected by the Board of Directors of the Lumière Institute at its meeting on Sept. 30.
“Very touched and well-aware of the honour that has been bestowed upon me, I will do all I can to live up to this commitment,” said Jacob, adding that she also had an “immense consideration for Bertrand Tavernier, whose work at the head of the Institute has been significant.”
Jacob won the prestigious best actress prize at Cannes in 1991 for her part in Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “The Double Life of Véronique.” Kieslowski also directed Jacob in “Three Colours: Red,” one of her best-known films, along with Louis Malle’s “Au revoir les enfants” which marked her debut.
Besides Kieslowski and Malle, Jacob has worked with a flurry of French and international auteurs, including Michelangelo Antonioni, Wim Wenders, Theo Angelopoulos, Agnieszka Holland, Paul Auster, Jonathan Nossiter and Hugh Hudson. She has also worked Nadine Trintignant, Claude Lelouch, Serge Le Péron, Pascal Thomas, Riad Sattouf and Jacques Deray. The prolific talent has also acted in many plays, most recently “Retour à Reims, directed by Thomas Ostermeier and adapted Didier Eribon’s essay.
At the head of the Lumiere Institute, Jacob will continue to “ensure the existence of a public place that preserves and honours the history of cinema,” spearhead the programming of classics, heritage conservation and promotion, publishing and image education, said the Institute. She will also lead the Board of Directors.
Along with the special tribute honoring Tavernier’s legacy, the anticipated highlights of this 13th edition include the Oct. 15 celebration of Jane Campion who will receive the honorary Lumière Award, following the footsteps of Martin Scorsese, Clint Eastwood and Quentin Tarantino, among others.
Campion’s latest film “The Power of the Dog,” will also have its French world premiere at the festival. A Netflix movie, “The Power of the Dog” will not be released in theaters in France. Another high-profile Netflix film which opened at Venice and will have its French premiere at the Lumiere fest is Paolo Sorrentino’s “Hand of God.”
Several other films which played at Cannes and Venice will play in Lyon, notably Catherine Corsini ‘s “La Fracture,” Joachim Trier’s “The Worst Person in the World,” Todd Haynes’s “The Velvet Underground,” Gaspar Noé’s “Vortex,” and Maggie Gyllenhaal’s “The Lost Daughter.” Other French premieres slated for the Lumiere festival include Clint Eastwood’s “Cry Macho.”