Francois, Garrel named most promising talents

Duo take Romy Schneider/Patrick Dewaere prizes

PARIS -- The French awards season wrapped in Paris on Monday night as the Romy Schneider/Patrick Dewaere prizes for the year's most promising young talents went to Deborah Francois and Louis Garrel at a lavish awards ceremony at Paris' Hotel de Ville.

Francois was honored for her performance in Remi Bezancon's "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life," which also won her the 2009 Cesar award for most promising actress. Garrel starred in Christophe Honore's telefilm "La Belle Personne" and in the 2008 Festival de Cannes competition title "Frontier of Dawn," directed by his father Philippe. "Dawn" hit Gallic theaters in October.

An all-male jury of French journalists voted for the Schneider prize -- awarded since 1984 -- while an all female jury picked Garrel for the Dewaere prize. Replacing the traditional Jean Gabin award, the Dewaere prize is named for French actor Patrick Dewaere, who committed suicide in 1982 at the age of 35.

Up next for Francois is Emmanuel Mouret's June comedy "Fais-moi Plaisir!" while Garrel will again team with Honore for the August release "Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser."

Last year's prizes went to Audrey Dana and Jocelyn Quivrin. The media-heavy ceremony lit up the Hotel de Ville as guests including CNC president Veronique Cayla sipped champagne before the afterparty moved to Paris nightclub the VIP room.