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France’s Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences on Wednesday morning unveiled the nominees for this year’s Cesar Awards – the country’s equivalent to the Oscars – during a breakfast press conference at the famed Fouquet’s restaurant on the Champs-Elysees in Paris.
Cannes Grand Prize winner 120 BPM led the nominations with 13 nods, including best film, best director, best editing and best original screenplay for creator Robin Campillo.
Albert Dupontel's post-World War I epic See You Up There also scored 13 nominations.
Mathieu Amalric's Barbara, which won a special prize in the Un Certain Regard sidebar in Cannes as well as the Louis Delluc prize in December, had 9 nominations.
Cannes Critics' Week entry Bloody Milk received 8 nominations including best film and best first film. Julia Ducornau's Raw, also a Cannes Critics' Week selection but in 2016, had 6 nominations.
Academy president Alain Terzian and comedian Manu Payet, who will host the show, announced the nominees.
In the foreign language category, Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk, which was shot in northern France, scored a nomination, as did last Ruben Ostlund's Palme d'Or winner The Square.
As previously announced, Penelope Cruz will receive the honorary Cesar award, and French actress Vanessa Paradis will symbolically open the ceremony. In the past, that honor has gone to the ceremonial president, but that title seems to have been scrapped after the uproar over Roman Polanski’s invitation and subsequent withdrawal last year.
Terzian began the announcements by congratulating director Agnes Varda for her honorary Oscar presented at the Governor's awards last November, as well as for her Oscar nomination in the best documentary category with Faces Places.
The academy also unveiled a new award this year, the a public prize, which will be awarded to the film with the most tickets sold each year. The move is a nod to popular comedies that are often overlooked for more artistic fare.
He also touted 2016 as a great year for French cinema abroad after the foreign market bounced back from a low 2016. This year's ceremony will be held on March 2 at Paris' Salle Pleyel.
Here is the full list of nominations.
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