For the first time in the history of the César awards – the French equivalent of the Oscars – three female directors are in the running for the coveted prize for Best Director at the upcoming ceremony on 26 February. They include Emmanuelle Bercot for the Cannes festival opener La Tête Haute, Maïwenn for Mon Roi which earned a Best Actress award at Cannes for Bercot and Deniz Gamze Erguven for the Turkish language Mustang which is the French entry for Best Foreign Language film at this year’s Oscars. Elsewhere, Arnaud Desplechin’s Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse and Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite lead the field for the most nominations. Both features have 11 nominations each including Best Film and Best Director nods for Desplechin and Giannoli. Other contenders for Best Film include Stéphane Brizé’s La Loi du Marché which earned Vincent Lindon the Best Actor prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, Jacques Audiard’s Palme D’Or winner Dheepan and Philippe Faucon’s Fatima. These directors, with the exception of Faucon, are also in line for the Best Director prize.
As the controversy continues to rage about the lack of black nominees at the Oscars, the Césars can boast greater ethnic diversity on its list. Tamoul actor Antonythasan Jesuthasan is up for Best Actor for Dheepan, Morocco’s Loubna Abidar could win Best Actress for Much Love likewise Soria Zeroual for Fatima while Denmark’s Sidse Babett Knudsen will compete for Best Supporting Actress. The organisers will also award American Oscar-winning actor Michael Douglas actor an honourary César .
Here is a list of other nominees.
Best Supporting Actor: Michel Fau (Marguerite), Louis Garrel (Mon Roi), Benoît Magimel (La Tête Haute), André Marcon (Marguerite), Vincent Rottiers (Dheepan)
Best Actress: Loubna Abidar (Much Loved), Emmanuelle Bercot (Mon Roi), Cecile de France (La Belle Saison), Catherine Deneuve (La Tête Haute), Catherine Frot (Marguerite), Isabelle Huppert (The Valley of Love), Soria Zeroual (Fatima)
Best Actor: Jean-Pierre Bacri (La vie très privée de Monsieur Sim), Vincent Cassel (Mon Roi), François Damiens (Les Cowboys), Gérard Depardieu (The Valley of Love), Antonythasan Jesuthasan (Dheepan), Vincent Lindon (La Loi du Marché), Fabrice Luchini (L’Hermine)
Best Female newcomer: Camille Cottin (Connasse Princesse des Coeurs), Sara Giraudeau (Les Bêtises), Zita Hanrot (Fatima), Diane Rouxel (La Tête Haute), Lou Roy-Lecollinet (Trois Souvenirs de Ma Jeunesse),