Cesars jump gun on selections


PARIS -- The nominees won't be announced until Jan. 25, but "the Academy" (read: official Gallic film organization L'Academie des Arts et Techniques du Cinema) has already planned a series of events leading up to February's Cesar Awards ceremony.

Organizers of France's most prestigious annual awards ceremony stunned the nation when they announced that the ceremony had been moved from its traditional Saturday night slot to Friday, Feb. 22.

While nominees in the other categories are still a mystery, the academy has already selected its Most Promising young talents, with 16 actors and 16 actresses awaiting the verdict when voting members narrow the field down to just five in each category.

All of those talent pre-selected, however, will see their portraits featured in a special photo expo by Stephane Sednaoui. The expo will be open to the public as of January in partnership with Chaumet.

The academy is also planning a series of masterclasses for both industry professionals and the public during the upcoming Salon du Cinema set to kick off Jan. 18 in Paris. The three-day cultural exhibition at the Porte de Versailles trade hall aiming to give the public access to the world of filmmaking is now in its second year after a successful first run in 2007 with over 50,000 visitors.

The Cesar Awards masterclasses will include: "The Image" with Agnes Godard (Cesar award, 2001 for "Beau Travail"), "Costumes" with Jackie Stephens Budin, (Cesar, 2004 for "Pas sur la Bouche") "Editing" with Herve de Luze (Cesar 2007 for "Tell No One" and 1998 for "On Connait la Chanson"), "Scenery" with Jacques Rouxel (Cesar, 2004 for "Bon Voyage" and 199 for "Lautrec").

The Cesar Awards, set to broadcast live on TV network Canal Plus, will take place on Feb. 22 at Paris' Chatelet Theater.