Lyon (AFP)

"Cinema is my life".

New Zealand director Jane Campion received the Lumière Prize in Lyon on Friday, before mischievously greeting "the wives and assistants" of the Lumière Brothers, the inventors of cinema.

Going to this city in central-eastern France, "is like going to Bethlehem; where the films were created by the Lumière Brothers, they probably had wives and assistants and I greet them", - she launched after receiving the prize that its promoters like to compare to the "Nobel for cinema".

After several years of silence, this 67-year-old filmmaker presented her seventh feature film this year, "The Power of the Dog", produced by the American platform Netflix and crowned in Venice with the award for best director.

"The Power of the Dog" is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by American writer Thomas Savage.

Benedict Cumberbatch and Kirsten Dunst break the codes of the virile western.

The festival which opened last Saturday and ends on Sunday allowed film lovers to see or re-watch his six other feature films, including "The Piano Lesson", which in 1993 won him the Palme d'Or in Cannes, then the Oscar for best screenplay.

The 13th edition offers a total of nearly 170 films and documentaries, many great classics in restored version but also some previews, with a series of meetings with headliners of contemporary cinema such as the Italian Paolo Sorrentino.

Present at the ceremony Friday, the legendary Nan Goldin, 68, inaugurated this week an exhibition of her set photographs of "Variety".

In this film signed by her friend Bette Gordon, she plays what she was at the time, a disillusioned bartender in a Manhattan bar, when "New York was a small world where you could meet people" and " not a market ".

In the past, the Lumière Award has honored Francis Ford Coppola, Jane Fonda, Wong Kar-wai, Catherine Deneuve, Martin Scorsese, Pedro Almodóvar, Quentin Tarantino, Ken Loach, Gérard Depardieu, Milos Forman, Clint Eastwood and, last year , the Dardenne brothers.

According to the organizers, celebrating Jane Campion was "one of the last wishes of Bertrand Tavernier", a figure of French cinema who chaired the Institut Lumière from its creation in 1982 until his death last March.

He is now replaced by actress Irène Jacob as president of the festival.

The attendance of the 2021 vintage "is approaching the sales records of 2019" (200,000 spectators that year), before the great hollow linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, according to official figures.

© 2021 AFP

Keywords: jane campion, cinema, lumière brothers, lyon, festival, life, bethlehem, d'or, afp, lumière award, france, benedict cumberbatch, prize, filmmaker, wives