The Bernard Chardère Prize recognizes a critic and author, a noteworthy personality of the cinema, in the image of the man whose prize bears his name, Bernard Chardère, founder of the magazine Positif in Lyon, author, and the first director and co-founder of the Institut Lumière.
The first Bernard Chardère Prize was awarded to journalist and producer Jean-Jacques Bernard, who passed away suddenly in November of 2015. He was a loyal member of the Lumière festival since the beginnings, contributing to the festival with a generosity of spirit, whether hosting an event or on the set of Radio Lumière.
Previous recipients include Serge Kaganski (Les Inrockuptibles), Danièle Heymann (Marianne, The Masque and the pen on France Inter), and Swiss writer and historian Freddy Buache, founder of the Swiss Film Library. In 2016, Michel Ciment, the preeminent film critic and editor of Positif, received the prize; in 2017, it was presented to the great voice of France Inter, radio journalist Eva Bettan.
Raymond Chirat, who passed away in 2016, was one of the most valued and inspiring fellow travelers of the Institut Lumière. A historian of French cinema and an author, he founded the Library that bears his name at the Institut. The library overflows with this archives, his press clippings, his hand-written notes - and other treasures. An insatiable communicator and avid film lover, especially of the French cinema, he was its uncontested, highly sought-after, revered expert, counting Patrick Modiano among his many admirers.
The Raymond-Chirat Prize recognizes a writer-historian-researcher in film history. Pascal Mérigeau, journalist, critic and writer, received the first Raymond Chirat Prize in 2011 for his work on Jean Renoir. In 2015, the second Prize was awarded to the AFRHC (French Association for Research on the History of Cinema), and presented to its president, Valérie Vignaux, and co-founder Jean A. Gili. In 2016, it was bestowed upon filmmaker and cinema historian Paul Vecchiali, and in 2017, presented to the director and founder of Wild Side, Manuel Chiche.
Co-founder of the company Pyramide, a producer and distributor, Fabienne Vonier was a major figure in French and international cinema. Through Pyramide, she accompanied two generations of the most remarkable artists of the cinema of her time: Louis Malle (a co-founder of Pyramide), Alains Resnais, Tonie Marshall, Youssef Chahine, Nikita Mikhalkov, Elia Suleiman, Aki Kaurismaki, Faith Akin, Benoit Jacquot, Claire Denis, Alain Cavalier, Nuri Bilge Ceylan... and many others. She died in 2013. In her memory, a prize bearing her name was created to honor notable women personalities of the cinema.
With the agreement of producer Francis Boespflug, who was her husband, the first Fabienne Vonier Prize was awarded during the 2016 Lumière festival to producer Margaret Menegoz and distributor Régine Vial. Through their company, Les Films du Losange, they were able to raise the production and distribution of French and international cinema d'auteur to the highest level. During the 2017 Lumière festival, the award was presented to Carole Scotta and Caroline Benjo, founders of the production and distribution company, Haut et Court.
An enlightening and illuminating cinephile, Pierre Rissient, film programmer, press agent, distributor, producer and director, passed away on May 6, 2018. In the early 1960s, he created the Mac-Mahon Circle of Cinephiles before becoming assistant director to Claude Chabrol, press secretary to Jacques Deray, Jean Renoir and Joseph Losey for The Servant. A distributor, he released Shock Corridor by Samuel Fuller in France, and defended filmmakers Leo McCarey and Abraham Polonsky. A close friend to Jerry Schatzberg, Clint Eastwood, Francis Ford Coppola and Quentin Tarantino, he worked to help promote Jane Campion, King Hu and Lino Brocka in Europe... He was a member of the inner circle of the Institut Lumière and the Lumière festival, who decided to celebrate his memory with the creation of the Pierre Rissient Prize, the first of which will be awarded in October 2018.
The 2018 laureates will be announced at a later date. The Prizes will be awarded during the 2018 Lumière festival.
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