|45th César Awards|
The César Award trophy
|Awarded for||Achievements in French cinema|
|Presented by||Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma|
The César Award is the national film award of France. It is delivered in the Nuit des César ceremony and was first awarded in 1976. The nominations are selected by the members of twelve categories of filmmaking professionals and supported by the French Ministry of Culture. The nationally televised award ceremony is held in the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris each year in February. It is an initiative from the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma which was founded in 1975.
The César Award is considered the highest film honor in France, the French film industry's equivalent to the Molière Award for theatre, and the Victoires de la Musique for music. In cinema, it is the French equivalent to the Academy Award.
In 1974, Georges Cravenne founded the Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema that was, from the outset, intended to reward the achievements and the most remarkable film artwork, to have a French equivalent to the American Oscars. The first César Awards – also known as the "Night of Caesar" – were held on 3 April 1976 under the chairmanship of Jean Gabin who watched the ceremony from the front row seated in a wheelchair a few months before his death. The name of the award comes from the sculptor César, designer of the trophy awarded to the winners in each category. It is also an homage to the Raimu, the great French actor and performer of Marseille trilogy of Marcel Pagnol, in which Raimu played the character of César.
The César Awards replaced the Étoile de cristal, which was awarded from 1955 to 1975. Other prizes had been awarded to French cinema in the past. From 1934 to 1986, the Grand prix du cinéma français, established by film pioneer Louis Lumière, was given to one film a year. In the 1950s, the Victoire du cinéma français was awarded each June. Lacking popular enthusiasm compared to the Étoile de cristal, this award was discontinued after 1964.
At the inaugural César Awards, 13 awards were distributed. Today, there are 22 (in nine subcategories). Categories added in recent years include Most Promising Actor/Actress (Meilleur espoir), Best Documentary (Meilleur documentaire) and Best Animated Film (Meilleur film d'animation), while awards honoring the best film poster and best producer have been dropped, as they are now given at a sister ceremony, the Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier.
Voting for César Awards is conducted through two ballots by mail: the first to establish nominations per category (three to five, depending on the discipline), and the second to decide the winner.
Voters are professionals in the field, numbering about 4,000, divided into 12 colleges (actors, directors, writers, technicians, producers, distributors and international vendors, operators, agents artistic, technical industries, casting directors, press officers and members associates). The criteria for voting are: demonstrate a relatively consistent career in film and get a double sponsorship in the Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma. Nominees or winners of the previous editions are exempt from these formalities.
To aid voters, the Académie identifies each year films released in France and provides a guide to the works and eligible professionals. A DVD set of French or primarily French productions produced during the year is sent in December with the catalog of films to the electors. After the nominations are revealed, at the end of January, special screenings of the nominated films are shown at the Le Balzac cinema in Paris, near the Champs-Élysées. Each year, a special lunch (Déjeuner des nommés aux César du cinéma) for nominees is held at the famous Fouquet's restaurant on the Champs-Élysées, a few weeks before the ceremony.
- Honorary Award - since 1976
- César des Césars - between 1985 and 1995
- Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier - since 2008
- Trophée César & Techniques - since 2011
- Médaille d'Or - only in 2015
- César & Techniques Special Award - only between 2015 and 2017
- César & Techniques Innovation Award - since 2018
- César du public - since 2018
- Best Film from the European Union (2002–2004)
- Best Poster (1986–1990)
- Best Producer (1995–1996)
- Best Writing (Adaptation or Original) (1976–2005)
- Best French Language Film (1984–1986)
- Best Documentary Short (1977–1991)
- Best Fiction Short (1977–1991)
- Best Animated Short (1977–1990)
Films which received five or more César Awards
|Cyrano de Bergerac||1990||13||10|
|The Last Metro||1980||12||10|
|The Beat That My Heart Skipped||2005||10||8|
|All the World's Mornings||1991||11||7|
|Same Old Song||1997||12||7|
|Too Beautiful For You||1989||11||5|
|A Very Long Engagement||2004||12||5|
|La Vie en Rose||2007||11||5|
|Me, Myself and Mum||2014||10||5|
Films which received 10 or more César Award nominations
Directors with two or more awards
Actors with 7 or more nominations
"Big Five" winners and nominees
- The Last Metro (1980)
- Best Film: The Last Metro
- Best Director: François Truffaut
- Best Actor: Gérard Depardieu
- Best Actress: Catherine Deneuve
- Best Writing: Suzanne Schiffman and François Truffaut
- Amour (2013)
- Best Film: Amour
- Best Director: Michael Haneke
- Best Actor: Jean-Louis Trintignant
- Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva
- Best Writing: Michael Haneke
Four awards won
- Smoking/No Smoking (1993): Best Actress (Sabine Azéma)
- Too Beautiful for You (1989): Best Actor (Gérard Depardieu)
Three awards won
- Cyrano de Bergerac (1990): Best Actress (Anne Brochet) and Writing (Jean-Claude Carrière and Jean-Paul Rappeneau)
- Same Old Song (1997): Best Actress (Sabine Azéma) and Director (Alain Resnais)
- The Artist (2011): Best Actor (Jean Dujardin) and Writing (Michel Hazanavicius)
Most acting wins and nominations for a film
- "The César Ceremony" Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma
- "Dates, les lieux et les diffuseurs" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Présidences de Cérémonie" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
- "Maîtres de Cérémonie" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
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