'Chatterley' earns Prix Louis-Delluc nod


PARIS -- Pascale Ferran's "Lady Chatterley" walked away with the prize for French film of the year at a ceremony for the Prix Louis-Delluc 2006 on Monday.

"Le Pressentiment," directed by actor-turned-director Jean-Pierre Darroussin, was declared best first film. The coveted honor, named for one of France's original filmmakers/critics and nicknamed the "Goncourt du cinema," was awarded to Ferran and to Darroussin by the jury and its president Gilles Jacob at famed Paris restaurant Fouquet's.

The Prix Louis-Delluc, given since 1937, is typically an early forecast of accolades to come as the French awards season kicks off.

"Lady Chatterley," based on the second version of D.H. Lawrence's controversial novel, is distributed by Ad Vitam and stars Marina Hands as Lady Constance Chatterley.

The film is being sold internationally by Films Distribution, which also boasts last year's Prix Louis-Delluc winner, Philippe's Garrel's "Regular Lovers," among its library titles.

Competition for this year's prize included: "Bled Number One" by Rabah Ameur-Zaimeche, who won the award for best first film in 2002 for his "Wesh Wesh, Qu'est-ce qui se passe?"; "Coeurs" by Alain Resnais, who has previously taken home the award in 1966 for "La Guerre est Finie," in 1993 for "Smoking-No Smoking" and in 1997 for "On Connait la Chanson"; "Flandres" by Bruno Dumont; "Jardins en Automne" by Otar Iosseliani, winner of the prize in 1999 for "Adieu, Plancher des Vaches"; and "Quand J'etais Chanteur" by Xavier Giannoli.

"Le Pressentiment," a drama about a Parisian lawyer experiencing an existential crisis, beat out "Les Fragments d'Antonin" by Gabriel Le Bomin and "Kigali, des images Contre un Massacre" by Jean-Christophe Klotz for first film honors.