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César Awards Set To Celebrate Big Year For French Movies

By | Friday February 24, 2012 @ 11:29am PST

‘The Artist’, ‘Poliss’ Lead Cesar Nominations

Tonight, the French film industry converges at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet to celebrate what was a banner year for French film. Along with Oscar darling The Artist, the French will fête a year in which the local box office hit an all-time high (about $1.7 billion), with 67.5% of the population buying a cinema ticket. The two biggest grossers of 2011 were home-grown pics: Gaumont’s Untouchable directed by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano (now third on the all-time gross list behind Titanic and Welcome To The Sticks and acquired by the Weintseins for the U.S. along with remake rights), and Pathé’s Nothing To Declare, starring and directed by Dany Boon, who was also behind 2008’s Sticks. Nothing To Declare is a straight comedy and as such has no nominations tonight — the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma does not typically like rewarding broad fare or films that rock the box office. Untouchable, however, has several nods including Best Picture, Director(s) and acting mentions for its two leads.

The actual César ceremony, a sometime stilted affair, is on its way to improving — they’ve recently learned the wonders of dimming the lights in the theater — and this evening portends better than most. Meanwhile, Cannes Film Festival general delegate and artistic director Thierry Frémaux has to be feeling pretty good right about now since many of the films rolling through awards season started their … Read More »

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‘The Artist’ Nabs 10 César Nominations, But Maiwenn’s ‘Poliss’ Leads With 13 Nods

By | Friday January 27, 2012 @ 2:02am PST

Maïwenn’s Cannes Jury Prize winner Poliss leads the nominees for France’s César Awards with 13, including all the major categories and several acting nods for the ensemble. The Artist garnered 10 nominations including Best Film, Director, Actress, Actor, Original Screenplay, Original Score, Cinematography, Editing, Costumes and Art Direction. Gaumont’s box office smash Untouchable has nine including Best Film and Director for the duo of Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, with lead actors Omar Sy and François Cluzet competing against one another in what this year is an expanded category. (The acting, directing and film fields have all recently been widened to seven slots from five). Other films to score multiple nods include Bertrand Bonello’s House Of Tolerance and Pierre Schoeller’s L’Exercice De L’Etat. The latter film will compete for Best Film alongside The Artist, Valerie Donzelli’s Declaration Of War, Aki Kaurismaki’s Le Havre, Untouchable, Poliss and Alain Cavalier’s Pater. Best Foreign Film nods went to Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, Tom Hooper’s Oscar winner The King’s Speech, Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s The Kid With A Bicycle, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia. Roman Polanski will present Kate Winslet with an honorary César at this year’s ceremony on February 24 in Paris. The late Annie Girardot will also be honored with a tribute. The full list of nominees follows: Read More »

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CANNES AWARDS SHOCKER: Terrence Malick’s ‘The Tree Of Life’ Wins Palme d’Or

Pete Hammond

Terrence Malick’s The Tree Of Life has won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, which just handed out its awards. The reclusive director did not attend the ceremony, and the award was picked up by producers Bill Pohlad and Dede Gardner. The meditative drama starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain and Sean Penn received a mixed reaction when it had its world premiere in competition this week, a year after it was supposed to appear at the festival. Fox Searchlight opens the film in the U.S. on May 27. Here is the full list of winners, with an analysis coming later today:

Official Competition
Palme d’Or: The Tree Of Life (dir: Terrence Malick)
Grand Prix (Runner-up to main award): (tie) Kid With A Bike (dir: Dardenne brothers), Once Upon A Time In Anatolia (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin (The Artist)
Mise en Scene (Best Director): Nicolas Winding Refn (Drive)
Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst (Melancholia)
Prix du Scenario (Screenplay): Joseph Cedar, Footnote (Israel)
Prix Du Jury: Poliss (dir: Maiwenn)

Palme d’Or Court Metrage: Cross Country (dir: Maryna Vroda)
Camera d’Or (Best First Film): Las Acasias (dir: Pablo Giorgelli)

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CANNES: Sundance Selects Acquires Competition Pic ‘Poliss’

By | Saturday May 21, 2011 @ 8:50am PDT
Mike Fleming

Cannes, FRANCE (May 21, 2011) – Sundance Selects announced today from the 2011 Cannes Film Festival that the company is acquiring all U.S. rights to writer-director and actress Maiwenn’s POLISS from Wild Bunch. The film, which made its world premiere in Competition at this week’s festival, was produced by Alain Attal and co-written by actress Emmanuelle Bercot, who also co-stars in the film. The film also stars Karin Viard, Joeystarr, Marina Fois, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Karole Rocher, Frederic Pierrot, Arnaud Henriet, Naidra Ayadi and Jérémie Elkhaim.

The film follows a group of individuals and officers working in and around a child protection unit in Paris.

Jonathan Sehring, President of Sundance Selects, said: “With POLISS, Maiwenn has given the Cannes Film Festival a jolt of electricity with an unforgettable ensemble cast. We think her incredibly cinematic story will really connect with American audiences.”

The deal for the film was negotiated by Arianna Bocco, Senior Vice President of Acquisitions & Productions, and Betsy Rodgers, Senior Vice President of Business and Legal Affairs for Sundance Selects with Wild Bunch on behalf of the filmmakers.

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