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CESARS 2008 France

The Secret of the Grain, Cotillard and Amalric triumph

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The Secret of the Grain, Cotillard and Amalric triumph

Winning four Cesar awards including Best Film of the year, Abdellatif Kechiche’s The Secret of the Grain [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hafsia Herzi
film profile
]
dominated yesterday evening’s annual French film awards ceremony in Paris.

As expected, Marion Cotillard won her first Cesar for Best Actress for her performance in La Vie en Rose [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Olivier Dahan’s film made a clean sweep, winning four other technical prizes (Best Cinematography, Best Production Design, Best Sound and Best Costume Design).

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Another favourite, Mathieu Amalric, picked up his second Cesar for Best Actor for his performance in Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The film also won the award for Best Editing.

It was a poor haul for Claude Miller’s Un Secret [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which won only one award – for Best Supporting Actress Julie Depardieu.

Persepolis [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marc-Antoine Robert
interview: Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Pa…
film profile
]
by directorial duo Marjane Satrap and Vincent Paronnaud, on the other hand, received double honours, for Best Debut Film and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Finally, the Cesar award for Best Documentary Film went to Terror’s Advocate by Barbet Schroeder and the prize for Best Foreign Film went to The Lives of Others [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
interview: Ulrich Muehe
film profile
]
by German director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck.

Also scooping the awards for Best Director and Best Original Screenplay (as well as Hafsia Herzi’s Cesar for Best Female Newcomer), Kechiche stole the show with The Secret of the Grain, his third feature, and thus establishes himself as a major director on the French cinema scene. After winning four Cesars for Games of Love and Chance in 2005 - a quadruple success in exactly the same categories as this year’s triumph - the 47 year-old director is amassing an enviable collection of awards and yesterday evening lived up to comparisons with Maurice Pialat and his role as figurehead for French auteur cinema.

The Secret of the Grain won three prizes at the Venice Film Festival (Special Jury Prize, Best Emerging Actress and the Fipresci Award), and also received the 2007 Louis-Delluc Award.

Produced by Claude Berri for Pathé Renn Productions, the feature is co-produced by Hirsch and France 2 Cinéma. The title has already garnered 658,000 admissions in France in the ten weeks since its release, enjoying stable success (+0% in week 10) on 161 screens across the country (distribution Pathé). Following the film’s triumph at the Cesars, it will no doubt be released on more screens.

List of award winners:

Best Film
The Secret of the Grain - Abdellatif Kechiche

Best Actor
Mathieu Amalric - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Actress
Marion Cotillard - La Vie en Rose

Best Director
Abdellatif Kechiche - The Secret of the Grain

Best Debut Film
Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

Best Documentary Film
Terror’s Advocate - Barbet Schroeder

Best Foreign Film
The Lives of Others - Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Best Original Screenplay
Abdellatif Kechiche - The Secret of the Grain

Best Adapted Screenplay
Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud - Persepolis

Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Sami Bouajila - Te Witnesses

Best Actress in a Supporting Role
Julie Depardieu - Un secret

Best Female Newcomer
Hafsia Herzi - The Secret of the Grain

Best Male Newcomer
Laurent Stocker - Hunting and Gathering

Best Original Score
Alex Beaupain - Love Songs

Best Production Design
Olivier Raoux - La Vie en Rose

Best Cinematography
Tetsuo Nagata - La Vie en Rose

Best Sound
Laurent Zeilig, Pascal Villard and Jean-Paul Hurier - La Vie en Rose

Best Editing
Juliette Welfling - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Costume Design
Marit Allen La Vie en Rose

Best Short
Le Mozart des pickpockets - Philippe Pollet-Villard

(Translated from French)

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