France's César Award Nominations (Equivalent of the Oscars) Announced ('Divines' Picks Up 7 + Omar Sy, Corentin Fila, 'Swagger')

April 20th 2017
César Awards 2017 César Awards 2017 A day after the Academy in the USA announced its nominations for the 2017 Oscars, France's own Academy has done the same for its equivalent - the César Awards. Per tradition, the nominations were announced this morning by academy president Alain Terzian, during a breakfast presentation at the famed Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Élysées. Of note, given this blog's specific interests (each is accompanied by a trailer): --- The critically acclaimed and much talked-about films at last year’s Cannes film festival, described as one of the best young-adult films to come out of France in recent years, “Divines” tells the story of Dounia, a tough but naive teenager living in the 'hood, who sees getting rich or dying trying as her most viable option to get out. French filmmaker of Moroccan descent Houda Benyamina’s directorial debut received rave reviews from critics and was awarded the Caméra d’Or, an award of the Cannes Film Festival for the best first feature film presented in one of the event’s selections. Critics heap praise on Oulaya Amamra’s (sister of the filmmaker) “breakout” performance as Dounia, the star of the film. Both the filmmaker and the actress are nominated in the Best Director and Best New Actress categories. Also in the Best Supporting Actress category, co-star Deborah Lukumuena is nominated; and the film is nominated for Best Film and Best Best Original Screenplay. In total, the film picked up 7 nominations. The film was picked up by Netflix and is available to stream for USA audiences. --- Omar Sy is nominated for a second time in the Best Actor category for his performance in "Cholocat," following his historic 2012 win in the same category for his performance in the global blockbuster "Intouchables." Omar Sy stars "Chocolat," which is based on the life of Rafael Padilla – a former Cuban-born slave, who became a performer in France during the Belle Epoque era. He died in Bordeaux on November 4, 1917. French-Moroccan actor/director Roschdy Zem directed "Chocolat," which was released in France last year, but is still without a USA distributor. The film picked up 4 nominations in total. --- Corentin Fila (son of Congolese filmmaker, David-Pierre Fila) picked up a nomination in the Best New Actor category, for his performance in "Being 17." Directed by André Téchiné, “Being 17” stars Sandrine Kiberlain, Kacey Mottet Klein and Corentin Fila in a tale of burgeoning gay romance that follows the pampered teenage son of a soldier and a doctor who lives with his mother in Army barracks in the south of France while his father is on a military mission in the Central African Republic. Téchiné directs from a script he co-wrote with Céline Sciamma (whose name you’ll recognize as the director of 2015’s contentious sensation, “Girlhood,” which was covered extensively on this blog). Corentin Fila made his film acting debut with “Being 17,” and has received a lot of praise for his performance. So expect to hear more from this young actor – the son of a Congolese filmmaker with his own extensive resume – in the future. Fila's co-star in "Being 17," Kacey Mottet Klein, is also nominated in the same category. The film was picked up for USA distribution by Strand Releasing, and opened in a limited theatrical run last fall. It's currently available on DVD in the USA. --- And finally, French music video director Olivier Babinet's visually striking, atypical portrait of French youth, the documentary feature titled “Swagger,” is nominated in Best Documentary Film category. Described as “a teen-movie documentary,” the docu-drama (part non-fiction/part fiction) takes audiences on a journey into the astonishing minds of eleven teenagers growing up in one of the most underprivileged neighborhoods in France. Despite their life difficulties, the kids of the Aulnay and Sevran municipalities have dreams and ambitions which they share via a mix of one-on-one interviews and “impressively staged bursts of pure fiction,” including “a drone sequence where a fleet of CG spaceships invade the housing projects.” Ultimately, “Swagger” aims to uncover the pockets of creativity that those on the outside don’t get to see behind the dominant images of the rough environment that these kids live in. The filmmaker reportedly spent two years working with kids at the center of the film, before deciding to make a film about their lives. “Swagger” premiered as a Cannes Acid sidebar selection in May of last year, and opened in France in November, but has yet to screen outside of Europe as of the time of this posting. It looks like something that selective film festivals in the USA might pick up, serving as an alternative to the usual film depictions of underprivileged kids (mostly African and Middle Eastern) in France. But, as of today, the film is without an American distributor. That's it in terms of nominees of African descent! The 2017 César Awards ceremony will be held on February 24, 2017. See the full list of nominations below. And for our French readers, feel to chime in on any names or films that aren't highlighted above that should be. Best Film Divines Elle Frantz The Innocents Slack Bay From the Land of the Moon Victoria Best Director Houda Benyamina for Divines Paul Verhoeven for Elle Francois Ozon for Frantz Anne Fontaine for The Innocents Xavier Dolan for It’s Only the End of the World Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay Nicole Garcia for From the Land of the Moon Best Actress Judith Chemla for A Woman’s Life Marion Cotillard for From the Land of the Moon Virginie Efira for Victoria Marina Fois for Faultless Isabelle Huppert for Elle Sidse Babett Knudsen for 150 Milligrams Best Actor Francois Cluzet for Irreplaceable Pierre Deladonchamps for The Son of John Nicolas Duvauchelle for A Decent Man Fabrice Luchini for Slack Bay Omar Sy for Chocolat Gaspard Ulliel for It’s Only the End of the World Best Supporting Actress Nathalie Baye for It’s Only the End of the World Valeria Bruni Tedeschi for Slack Bay Anne Consigny for Elle Deborah Lukumuena for Divines Melanie Thierry for The Dancer Best Supporting Actor Gabriel Arcand for The Son of John Vincent Cassel for It’s Only the End of the World Vincent Lacoste for Victoria Laurent Lafitte for Elle Melvil Poupad for Victoria James Thierree for Chocolat Best New Actress Oulaya Amamra for Divines Paula Beer for Frantz Lily-Rose Depp for The Dancer Noemie Merlant for Heaven Will Wait Raph for Slack Bay Best New Actor Jonas Bloquet for Elle Damien Bonnard for Staying Vertical Corentin Fila for Being 17 Kacey Mottet Klein for Being 17 Niels Schneider for Dark Inclusion Best Foreign Film Aquarius by Kleber Mendonca Filho (Portugal) Graduation by Cristian Mungiu (Romania) The Unknown Girl by The Dardenne Brothers (Belgium) Manchester by the Sea by Kenneth Lonergan (United States) I, Daniel Blake by Ken Loach (United Kingdom) Toni Erdmann by Maren Ade (Germany) Best Original Screenplay Romain Compingt, Houda Benyamina and Malik Rumeau for Divines Solveig Anspach, Jean-Luc Gaget for The Aquatic Effect Sabrina Karine, Alice Vial, Pascal Bonitzer and Anne Fontaine for The Innocents Bruno Dumont for Slack Bay Justine Triet for Victoria Best Adapted Screenplay David Birke for Elle Severine Bosschem, Emmanuelle Bercot for 150 Milligrams Francois Ozon for Frantz Celine Sciamma for My Life as a Zucchini Nicole Garcia, Jacquest Fieschi for From the Land of the Moon Katell Quillevere, Gille Taurand for Heal the Living Best Documentary Film Derniers Nouvelles du Cosmos by Julie Bertucelli Fire at Sea by Gianfranco Rosi Thanks Boss! by Francois Ruffin Swagger by Olivier Babinet Journey Through French Cinema by Bertrand Tavernier Best First Film The Fabulous Patars by Sophie Reine The Dancer by Stephanie di Guisto Dark Inclusion by Arthur Harari Divines by Houda Benyamina Rosalie Blum by Julien Rappeneau Best Original Score Gabriel Yared for Chocolat Ibrahim Maalouf for In the Forests of Siberia Anne Dudley for Elle Philippe Romi for Frantz Sophie Hunger for My Life as a Zucchini Best Sound Brigitte Taillandier, Vincent Guillon, Stephane Thiebaut for Chocolat Jean-Paul Mugel, Alexis Place, Cyril Holtz, Damie Lazzerini for Elle Martin Boissau, Benoit Gargonne, Jean-Paul Hurier for Frantz Jean-Pirre Duret, Sylvain Malbrant, Jean-Pierre Laforce for From the Land of the Moon Marc Engles, Fred Demolder, Sylvain Rety, Jean-Paul Hurier for The Odyssey Best Editing Loic Lallemand, Vincent Tricon for Divines Job Ter Burg for Elle Laure Gardette for Frantz Xavier Dolon for It’s Only the End of the World Simon Jacquet for From the Land of the Moon Best Cinematography Stephane Fontaine for Elle Pascal Marti for Frantz Caroline Champetier for The Innocents Guillaume Deffontaines for Slack Bay Christophe Beaucarne for From the Land of the Moon Best Costumes Anais Romand for The Dancer Pascaline Chavanne for Frantz Catherine Leterrier for From the Land of the Moon Alexander Charles for Slack Bay Madeline Fontain for A Woman’s Life Best Animated Film The Girl Without Hands My Life as a Zucchini The Red Turtle Best Animated Short Film Cafe Froid Celui Qui a Deux Ames Journal Anime Peripheria Best Short Film After Suzanne Au Bruit des Clochettes Chasse Royale Mamans Vers la Tendresse
by Shadow and Act on April 20th 2017

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