Clint Eastwood was the first to receive it on October 17, 2009. He was followed by Milos Forman (Czechoslovakia), Gerard Depardieu (France), Ken Loach (United Kingdom), Quentin Tarantino (United States), Pedro Almodóvar ( Spain), Martin Scorsese (United States), Catherine Deneuve (France), Wong Kar-wai (Hong Kong) and Jane Fonda (United States).
Created by Thierry Frémaux, the Prix Lumière is a distinction based on time, recognition and admiration, to express our gratitude to the film artists who live in our lives. It was inspired, among other things, by the arrival in 1992 of Joseph L. Mankiewicz in Lyon who, a few seconds after his arrival, had wanted to know the exact location where Louis Lumière put his camera to turn the Exit of the Factories. Putting his feet on the spot, he closed his eyes and exclaimed, “Thank you, Light.”