'Of Gods and Men' Director, Producers Win France's Trophees Award

TF1's Audience Award went to romantic comedy "Heartbreaker," directed by Pascal Chaumeil.

PARIS – The crème-de-la-crème of France’s film biz came out in full force for the pink carpet of Le Film Francais’ 18th annual Trophees awards ceremony Thursday night in Paris.

God of Carnage director Roman Polanski joined Of Gods and Men helmer Xavier Beauvois and Gallic industry deities like ex-EuropaCorp superproducer Pierre Ange Le Pogam, Why Not Productions’ Pascal Caucheteux and MK2 topper Nathanael Karmitz for a swank ceremony and dinner at vast Parisian modern art museum le Palais de Tokyo.

The Trophies award for best director-producer duo went to Beauvois and Why Not Productions’ producers Caucheteux and Sorlat for Of Gods and Men.

The film topped this year’s Cesar Awards nominations with noms in 11 categories including best film and has been a hit at the Gallic box office with more than three million tickets sold. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film Feb 25 stateside, the same day of the Cesar Awards ceremony. 

“Of course I didn’t expect it,” Beauvois said of the success of the film. He added: “I was hoping for 1 million tickets sold because it’s the symbolic box office number here, but three million is just unbelieveable.”

So does Beauvois expect victory at the upcoming Cesar ceremony? “I want to win at least one,” he said.

The Of Gods and Men team beat out The Ghost Writer directing-producing duo Polanski with Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde for the prize. Polanski, however, braved the crowd to attend the event. The director is currently filming God of Carnage in Paris.

“It’s going very, very well,” Polanski said of the shoot, but remained mum on the details of the, as he described, “closed set.”

TF1’s Audience Award went to romantic comedy Heartbreaker, directed by Pascal Chaumeil who also took home the best first film award.

The top Trophee des Trophees prize for best Gallic box office of the year went to Warner Bros’ David Yates for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.

Le Film Francais Award went to EuropaCorp Distribution for Guillaume Canet’s Little White Lies. The film’s producer Pierre-Ange Le Pogam was on hand to accept the award, after announcing his split from EuropaCorp just days ago.

While rumors of launching a new shingle to compete with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp have been circulating around the industry since last week, Le Pogam remained mum on his future plans, saying only of his next move: “I’m not allowed to say anything for the coming days.”

The Personality of the Year award went to Films du Poisson producers Yael Fogiel and Laetita Gonzalez whose On Tour and The Tree both screened in official selection at last May’s Festival de Cannes.

The European Film Award went to StudioCanal’s Ben Stassen for animated hit Sammy’s Adventures. French actresses Elsa Zylberstein, Melanie Doutey, Jeanne Balibar and sister of Heartbreaker star Vanessa Paradis, Alysson Paradis lit up the already bright pink carpet as star of Bertrand Tavernier’s The Princess of Montpensier Raphael Personnaz joined fellow actors Zinedine Soualem, Guillaume Canet and Philippe Lefebvre for a media-heavy photo call and hour-long schmoozefest before taking their seats for the ceremony and dinner.