César Award

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.[1] 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.

César Award
44th César Awards
The César Award trophy
Awarded forAchievements in French cinema
Presented byAcadémie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma
First awarded1976

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.

The award was created by Georges Cravenne, who was also the creator of the Molière Award for theatre. The name of the award comes from the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921–1998) who created it.

The 44th César Awards ceremony took place on 22 February 2019. Custody, directed by Xavier Legrand, won the award for Best Film.


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 process

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.


Merit awards

Special awards

  • 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

Retired awards


Edition Date[2] President(s)[3] Host(s)[4] Best Film
1st César Awards 3 April 1976 Jean Gabin Pierre Tchernia Le Vieux Fusil
2nd César Awards 19 February 1977 Lino Ventura Monsieur Klein
3rd César Awards 4 February 1978 Jeanne Moreau Providence
4th César Awards 3 February 1979 Charles Vanel Pierre Tchernia and Jean-Claude Brialy L'Argent des autres
5th César Awards 2 February 1980 Jean Marais Pierre Tchernia and Peter Ustinov Tess
6th César Awards 31 January 1981 Yves Montand Pierre Tchernia The Last Metro
7th César Awards 27 February 1982 Orson Welles Jacques Martin and Pierre Tchernia Quest for Fire
8th César Awards 26 February 1983 Catherine Deneuve Jean-Claude Brialy La Balance
9th César Awards 3 March 1984 Gene Kelly Léon Zitrone (Tie) À nos amours
Le Bal
10th César Awards 3 February 1985 Simone Signoret Pierre Tchernia My New Partner
11th César Awards 22 February 1986 Madeleine Renaud and Jean-Louis Barrault Michel Drucker Three Men and a Cradle
12th César Awards 7 March 1987 Sean Connery Michel Drucker and Pierre Tchernia Thérèse
13th César Awards 12 March 1988 Miloš Forman Michel Drucker and Jane Birkin Au revoir les enfants
14th César Awards 4 March 1989 Peter Ustinov Pierre Tchernia Camille Claudel
15th César Awards 4 March 1990 Kirk Douglas Ève Ruggiéri Too Beautiful for You
16th César Awards 9 March 1991 Sophia Loren Richard Bohringer Cyrano de Bergerac
17th César Awards 22 February 1992 Michèle Morgan Frédéric Mitterrand Tous les Matins du Monde
18th César Awards 8 March 1993 Marcello Mastroianni Savage Nights
19th César Awards 26 February 1994 Gérard Depardieu Fabrice Luchini and Clémentine Célarié Smoking / No Smoking
20th César Awards 25 February 1995 Alain Delon Jean-Claude Brialy and Pierre Tchernia Wild Reeds
21st César Awards 3 February 1996 Philippe Noiret Antoine de Caunes La Haine
22nd César Awards 8 February 1997 Annie Girardot Ridicule
23rd César Awards 28 February 1998 Juliette Binoche Same Old Song
24th César Awards 6 March 1999 Isabelle Huppert The Dreamlife of Angels
25th César Awards 19 February 2000 Alain Delon Alain Chabat Venus Beauty Institute
26th César Awards 24 February 2001 Daniel Auteuil Édouard Baer The Taste of Others
27th César Awards 2 March 2002 Nathalie Baye Amélie
28th César Awards 22 February 2003 Géraldine Pailhas The Pianist
29th César Awards 21 February 2004 Fanny Ardant Gad Elmaleh The Barbarian Invasions
30th César Awards 26 February 2005 Isabelle Adjani Games of Love and Chance
31st César Awards 25 February 2006 Carole Bouquet Valérie Lemercier The Beat That My Heart Skipped
32nd César Awards 24 February 2007 Claude Brasseur Lady Chatterley
33rd César Awards 22 February 2008 Jean Rochefort Antoine de Caunes The Secret of the Grain
34th César Awards 27 February 2009 Charlotte Gainsbourg Séraphine
35th César Awards 27 February 2010 Marion Cotillard Valérie Lemercier and Gad Elmaleh A Prophet
36th César Awards 25 February 2011 Jodie Foster Antoine de Caunes Of Gods and Men
37th César Awards 24 February 2012 Guillaume Canet The Artist
38th César Awards 22 February 2013 Jamel Debbouze Amour
39th César Awards 28 February 2014 François Cluzet Cécile de France Me, Myself and Mum
40th César Awards 20 February 2015 Dany Boon Édouard Baer Timbuktu
41st César Awards 26 February 2016 Claude Lelouch Florence Foresti Fatima
42nd César Awards 24 February 2017 Jérôme Commandeur Elle
43rd César Awards 2 March 2018 Vanessa Paradis Manu Payet BPM (Beats per Minute)
44th César Awards 22 February 2019 Kristin Scott Thomas Kad Merad Custody


Films which received five or more César Awards

Cyrano de Bergerac19901310
The Last Metro19801210
A Prophet2009139
The Beat That My Heart Skipped2005108
All the World's Mornings1991117
Goodbye, Children198797
The Pianist2002107
Same Old Song1997127
The Artist2012106
Lady Chatterley200795
Queen Margot1994125
Camille Claudel1988125
Smoking/No Smoking199395
Too Beautiful For You1989115
A Very Long Engagement2004125
La Vie en Rose2007115
Me, Myself and Mum2014105

Films which received 10 or more César Award nominations

Cyrano de Bergerac19901310
A Prophet2009139
Camille redouble2013130
See You Up There2018135
BPM (Beats per Minute)2018136
8 Women2002120
The Last Metro19801210
Tchao Pantin1984125
Camille Claudel1988125
Queen Margot1994125
Same Old Song1997127
A Very Long Engagement2004125
The Minister2012123
All the World's Mornings1991117
Nelly and Mr. Arnaud1995112
A Secret2007111
À l'origine2009111
Of Gods and Men2010113
Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train1998113
Too Beautiful for You1989115
La Vie en Rose2007115
My Golden Days2016111
Public Enemy Number One2008103
The Beat That My Heart Skipped2005108
Clean Up1981100
The Pianist2002107
The Artist2012106
Farewell, My Queen2013103
Me, Myself and Mum2014105
Saint Laurent2015101
Sink or Swim2019101
C'est la vie!2018100

Directors with two or more awards

Roman Polanski44
Jacques Audiard73
Alain Resnais82
Bertrand Tavernier72
Jean-Jacques Annaud42
Claude Sautet42
Abdellatif Kechiche32

Actors with 7 or more nominations

Gérard Depardieu172
Isabelle Huppert162
Catherine Deneuve142
Daniel Auteuil132
Karin Viard123
Nathalie Baye104
Catherine Frot102
Juliette Binoche101
Fabrice Luchini101
Isabelle Adjani95
Dominique Blanc94
François Cluzet91
Sandrine Kiberlain92
Michel Serrault83
Jean-Hugues Anglade 81
Emmanuelle Béart81
André Dussollier73
Marion Cotillard72
Charlotte Gainsbourg72
Noémie Lvovsky70
Jean-Pierre Marielle70

"Big Five" winners and nominees


  1. Best Film: The Last Metro
  2. Best Director: François Truffaut
  3. Best Actor: Gérard Depardieu
  4. Best Actress: Catherine Deneuve
  5. Best Writing: Suzanne Schiffman and François Truffaut
  1. Best Film: Amour
  2. Best Director: Michael Haneke
  3. Best Actor: Jean-Louis Trintignant
  4. Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva
  5. Best Writing: Michael Haneke


Four awards won

Three awards won

Most acting wins and nominations for a film

71PolisseActress: Marina Foïs and Karin Viard
Supporting Actor: Nicolas Duvauchelle, JoeyStarr and Frédéric Pierrot
Supporting Actress: Karole Rocher
Promising Actress Naidra Ayadi (won)
70Camille redoubleActress: Noémie Lvovsky
Supporting Actor: Samir Guesmi and Michel Vuillermoz
Supporting Actress: Judith Chemla and Yolande Moreau
Promising Actress Julia Faure and India Hair
53Same Old SongActor: André Dussollier (won)
Actress: Sabine Azéma
Supporting Actor: Jean-Pierre Bacri (won)
Supporting Actress: Agnès Jaoui (won) and Lambert Wilson
43Queen MargotActress: Isabelle Adjani (won)
Supporting Actor: Jean-Hugues Anglade (won)
Supporting Actress: Dominique Blanc and Virna Lisi (won)
42The Last MetroActor: Gérard Depardieu (won)
Actress: Catherine Deneuve (won)
Supporting Actor: Heinz Bennent
Supporting Actress: Andréa Ferréol
41ElleActress: Isabelle Huppert (won)
Supporting Actor: Laurent Lafitte
Supporting Actress: Anne Consigny
Promising Actor: Jonas Bloquet
41La Famille BélierActor: François Damiens
Actress: Karin Viard
Supporting Actor: Éric Elmosnino
Promising Actress: Louane Emera (won)
41Too Beautiful for YouActor: Gérard Depardieu
Actress: Josiane Balasko and Carole Bouquet (won)
Supporting Actor: Roland Blanche
40AmélieActress: Audrey Tautou
Supporting Actor: Jamel Debbouze and Rufus
Supporting Actress: Isabelle Nanty
32AmourActor: Jean-Louis Trintignant (won)
Actress: Emmanuelle Riva (won)
Supporting Actress: Isabelle Huppert
32What's in a NameActor: Patrick Bruel
Supporting Actor: Guillaume de Tonquédec (won)
Supporting Actress: Valérie Benguigui (won)
31Camille ClaudelActor: Gérard Depardieu
Actress: Isabelle Adjani (won)
Supporting Actor: Alain Cuny
31HippocrateActor: Vincent Lacoste
Supporting Actor: Reda Kateb (won)
Supporting Actress: Marianne Denicourt
31La Vie en roseActress: Marion Cotillard (won)
Supporting actor: Pascal Greggory
Supporting Actress: Sylvie Testud
31Yves Saint LaurentActor: Pierre Niney (won)
Supporting Actor: Guillaume Gallienne
Supporting Actress: Charlotte Le Bon
31It's Only the End of the WorldActor: Gaspard Ulliel (won)
Supporting Actor: Vincent Cassel
Supporting Actress: Nathalie Baye
30RidiculeActor: Charles Berling
Supporting Actor: Bernard Giraudeau and Jean Rochefort
30Saint LaurentActor: Gaspard Ulliel
Supporting Actor: Louis Garrel and Jérémie Renier

See also


  1. "The César Ceremony" Archived 3 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Académie des arts et techniques du cinéma
  2. "Dates, les lieux et les diffuseurs" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  3. "Présidences de Cérémonie" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
  4. "Maîtres de Cérémonie" (PDF). Académie des César. Retrieved 17 March 2015.
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