France can, with some justification, claim to have invented the whole concept of cinema. Film historians call The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station, the 50-second film by the Lumière brothers first screened in 1895, the birth of the medium. The best-known early pioneer, who made films with some kind of narrative value, was Georges Méliès, whose 1902 short film, A Trip to the Moon, is generally heralded as the first science-fiction film, and a landmark in cinematic special effect s.
The Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma was founded by French journalist Georges Cravenne in 1975, and the following year the first French national César Awards were awarded for twelve categories of filmmaking. Supported by the French Ministry of Culture, the awards, usually held in February, will be held on 12th March 2021. Today there are 22 awards in 9 subcategories in France’s equivalent of the Academy Awards.
The "César" is the trophy awarded each year to the winners of the César Ceremony. It is a personalised reproduction of the work created especially by the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921–1998) at the request of Georges Cravenne, during the founding of the Academy. César created a first version for the 1976 Ceremony, before completing the current statuette for the 2nd Ceremony in 1977. The César measures 30 cm and weighs about 3.7 kg.
Voting for César Awards is conducted through two ballots by mail: the first to establish nominations per category (three to five, depending on the discipline), and the second to decide the winner. Voters are professionals in the field, numbering about 4,000, divided into 12 colleges (actors, directors, writers, technicians, producers, distributors and international vendors, operators, agents artistic, technical industries, casting directors, press officers and members associates).
Over the years, the Launceston Film Society has shown a number of Best Films from the César Awards including Of Gods and Men (T3, 2011), Amour (T3 2013), Elle (T2 2017), and Custody (T1 2019). Plus some of France’s key actors have starred in a number of LFS screened films: Daniel Auteuil (14 Best Actor nominations) last appeared on our screen in La Belle Époque (T4 2020) and Juliet Binoche too has been a regular (14 Best Actress nominations) last appearing in Who You Think I Am (T4 2019). Last year’s 45th César Awards awarded Best Film to Les Misérables, to be shown at LFS in Term 1 2021