ⓘ César Award

Cesar Award for Best Animated Short Film

The Cesar Award for Best Animated Short Film is a French film award, that was awarded by the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema from 1977 to 1990. Combined with the Cesar Award for Best Animated Film from 2011 to 2013, this award has been fully awarded since 2014.

Cesar Award for Best Short Film

The Cesar Award for Best Short Film is an award presented by the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema since 1992.

Honorary Cesar

The Cesar Award is Frances national film award. Recipients are selected by the members of the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema. The following are the recipients of the Honorary Cesar award since 1976.

Cesar Award for Best Adaptation

The Cesar Award for Best Adaptation is an award presented by the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema. It was initially awarded from 1983 to 1985, and then awarded again in 2006, when the original category was split into two awards, the other being Cesar Award for Best Original Screenplay.


ⓘ Cesar Award

The Cesar Awards is the national film award of France. It is delivered in the Nuit des Cesar 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. The nationally televised award ceremony is held in Paris each year in February. The exact location has changed over the years. It is an initiative from the Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema which was founded in 1975.

The Cesar Award is considered the highest film honor in France, the French film industrys equivalent to the Moliere 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 Moliere Award for theatre. The name of the award comes from the sculptor Cesar Baldaccini 1921–1998 who designed it.

The 45th Cesar Awards ceremony took place on 28 February 2020. Les Miserables, directed by Ladj Ly, won the award for Best Film.


1. History

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 Cesar 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 Cesar, 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 Cesar.

The Cesar Awards replaced the Etoile 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 cinema français, established by film pioneer Louis Lumiere, was given to one film a year. In the 1950s, the Victoire du cinema français was awarded each June. Lacking popular enthusiasm compared to the Etoile de cristal, this award was discontinued after 1964.

At the inaugural Cesar 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 danimation, 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.

During the 45th ceremony in 2020, Adele Haenel, a French actress playing as main chararcter in Portrait of a Lady on Fire left the room when Roman Polanskys award as best director was pronounced, in protest of the fact that notable sexual abusers in the film industry can receive awards when their victims are reduced to silence.


2. Voting proces

Voting for Cesar 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. The criteria for voting are: demonstrate a relatively consistent career in film and get a double sponsorship in the Academie des arts et techniques du cinema. Nominees or winners of the previous editions are exempt from these formalities.

To aid voters, the Academie 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-Elysees. Each year, a special lunch Dejeuner des nommes aux Cesar du cinema for nominees is held at the famous Fouquets restaurant on the Champs-Elysees, a few weeks before the ceremony.


3. Categories

Special awards

  • Cesar & Techniques Innovation Award - since 2018
  • Cesar & Techniques Special Award - only between 2015 and 2017
  • Honorary Award - since 1976
  • Cesar du public - since 2018
  • Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier - since 2008
  • Trophee Cesar & Techniques - since 2011
  • Cesar des Cesars - between 1985 and 1995
  • Medaille dOr - only in 2015

Retired awards

  • Best Writing Adaptation or Original 1976–2005
  • Best Producer 1995–1996
  • Best Film from the European Union 2002–2004
  • Best French Language Film 1984–1986
  • Best Fiction Short 1977–1991
  • Best Poster 1986–1990
  • Best Animated Short 1977–1990
  • Best Documentary Short 1977–1991

4. Trivia


  • The Last Metro 1980
  • Best Actor: Gerard Depardieu
  • Best Film: The Last Metro
  • Best Director: François Truffaut
  • Best Writing: Suzanne Schiffman and François Truffaut
  • Best Actress: Catherine Deneuve
  • Amour 2013
  • Best Actress: Emmanuelle Riva
  • Best Director: Michael Haneke
  • Best Writing: Michael Haneke
  • Best Film: Amour
  • Best Actor: Jean-Louis Trintignant


Four awards won

  • Too Beautiful for You 1989: Best Actor Gerard Depardieu
  • Smoking/No Smoking 1993: Best Actress Sabine Azema

Three awards won

  • Same Old Song 1997: Best Actress Sabine Azema and Director Alain Resnais
  • The Artist 2011: Best Actor Jean Dujardin and Writing Michel Hazanavicius
  • Cyrano de Bergerac 1990: Best Actress Anne Brochet and Writing Jean-Claude Carriere and Jean-Paul Rappeneau