by Patch O'Furr
The César Awards, presented by the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma (Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema) since 1976, were frankly designed to be French cinema’s answer to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science’s Academy Awards, better known as the Oscars. The trophy of “l’Académie” was designed by the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921-1998) and is named after him.
The Césars are presented at a posh televised “Nuit de César” dinner and ceremony each February, by l’Académie but endorsed by the French Ministry of Culture; currently held at the 19th-century Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris. Technically all films distributed in France during the previous calendar year, not just those produced in France, are eligible for nomination, but the winners are usually French-made. See the Wikipedia article for the details on how the nominees are selected and on who votes for the Awards.
The first César Awards were presented in 1976 in 13 categories. There are 22 categories today. The César for “Mellieur Film d’Animation” (Best Animated Film) is a newcomer, only created in 2011. Significantly for furry fandom, all of the winners except for the first have been anthropomorphic films.
- 2011 (36th Césars), for 2010 films – L’Illusionniste; Sylvain Chomet
- 2012 (37th Césars), for 2011 films – Le Chat du Rabbin; Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux
- 2013 (38th Césars), for 2012 films – Ernest & Célestine; Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar and Benjamin Renner
- 2014 (39th Césars), for 2013 films – Loulou, l’Incroyable Secret; Éric Omond
- 2015 (40th Césars), for 2014 films — Miniscule, Hélène Giraud and Thomas Szabo