Gold Star for French 'Class'

Docu-drama named best French film

PARIS -- Laurent Cantet's "The Class" made the grade once again as the docu-drama took the prize for best French film of the year at the Etoiles d'or de la presse (Golden Star Awards) Monday night in Paris.

After winning the Lumiere award, the awards season and critics' favorite will be a competitive contender for the best film Cesar and the foreign-language Oscar this month.

Vincent Cassel was once again named best actor for his role in "Mesrine," and Yolande Moreau continued her awards season streak, taking the prize for best actress for "Seraphine."

Arnaud Desplechin was named best director for "A Christmas Tale," and Remi Bezancon took the best screenplay prize for "The First Day of the Rest of Your Life."

Samuel Collardey's "L'apprenti" and Pierre Schoeller's "Versailles" shared the award for best first film, and Agnes Varda's "Les Plages d'Agnes" was named best documentary.

"Faubourg 36" star Nora Arnezeder was the choice of the French press for most promising actress, and Tomer Sisley took the title of most promising actor for his starring role in comic book adaptation "Largo Winch."

The Golden Star Awards, voted upon by the country's film industry press, were held at the Espace Cardin in Paris.