Ken Loach to Be Honored With Lumiere Prize at Lyon Festival

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The British director will receive a lifetime achievement award at the fourth annual Lumiere Festival in Lyon in October

PARIS - After winning the Jury Prize at May's Cannes Film Festival, The Angel's Share director Ken Loach will be back in France for more of his share of accolades when the Lumiere Festival in Lyon honors the director with their honorary Lumiere Prize in October.

The prestigious award honors lifetime achievement in film and has previously been given to Clint Eastwood, Milos Forman and Gerard Depardieu.

The festival, now in its fourth year, is directed by the Cannes Film Festival’s Thierry Fremaux and presided by prolific filmmaker Bertrand Tavernier.

Last year’s star-powered event saw Stephen Frears, Charlotte Rampling, Benicio del Toro, Jerry Schatzberg and the Dardenne brothers head to the French city.

Loach will receive the award “for the ensemble of his work, for his personal portrayal of industrial society and for his contribution to the history of British, European and world cinema (and also because he likes soccer!),” the fest said.

Tavernier described Loach’s films as “eyewitness accounts of the vagaries of capitalist society” and added: “They are also proof that we can dream about another society, built upon brotherhood and collective beliefs.”

Loach has directed more than 20 features during his long career. His most recent film The Angel’s Share bowed in Competition at May’s Cannes Film Festival where it won the Jury Prize. The director won the Palme d’Or in 2006 for The Wind That Shakes The Barley.

“We couldn’t present a portrait of England without his immense body of work,” Tavernier said.

Loach will receive the award at a ceremony at Lyon’s Amphiteatre du Centre du Congres on Oct. 20 in front of an estimated 3,000 people.

The fest may celebrate classic cinema, but it’s also embracing the future, now boasting Facebook and Twitter accounts. Fremaux tweeted on Thursday: "Lumiere Prize 2012 to Ken Loach!"

The 2012 Lumiere Festival in Lyon runs October 15-21.