Schnabel's 'Butterfly' tops Lumiere honors


PARIS -- Julian Schnabel's "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly" dove into the spotlight at France's Lumiere Awards Sunday night, collecting the prize for best French Film of the year in addition to a best actor win for star Mathieu Amalric.

Schnabel's dramatic adaptation of paralyzed Elle editor Jean-Dominique Bauby's memoir premiered at the 2007 Festival de Cannes and has been an awards season favorite stateside.

Paris' foreign press, who vote for the Lumiere awards, named Abdellatif Kechiche best director for "The Secret of the Grain," winner of the Louis Delluc prize for best French film of the year in December. Actress Hafsia Herzi took the most promising actress award for her role in the film about an Arab family who settle in a seaside town in the south of France.

Marion Cotillard sang her way to the best actress prize for her role as Edith Piaf in Olivier Dahan's "La Vie en Rose." The musical drama also won the TV5Monde Public Prize for best film of the year.

In other categories, the best screenplay prize went to Alfred Lot for his thriller "La Chambre des Morts." Jocelyn Quivrin's performance in Jan Koenen's hit comedy "99 Francs" earned him a most promising actor award. Nadir Mokneche's "Delice Paloma" picked up the prize for best French language title hailing from a country other than France. French technical commission for image and sound the CST gave its top prize to photo director Eric Gauthier for his work on Sean Penn's "Into the Wild."

Gallic director Claude Lelouch presided over the 13th edition of the so-called "French Golden Globes," held at Paris' Hotel de Ville. At the event, director Alain Corneau paid homage to the 50-year career of actor Jean-Pierre Marielle at what marks the first of many awards shows this season.

The star-studded ceremony was followed by a dinner in the Hotel de Ville with Paris' mayor Bertrand Delanoe then a celebration of both the night's winners and the closing night of Unifrance's Rendez-Vous with French Cinema aboard a late-night cruise on a riverboat along the Seine.