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CÉSARS 2019

The César Award for Best Film goes to Custody

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- Xavier Legrand’s first feature scoops four trophies at the 2019 César Awards, a ceremony dominated by emerging talent and films tackling tough social issues

The César Award for Best Film goes to Custody
Producer Alexandre Gavras and director Xavier Legrand with the César Award for Best Film

Xavier Legrand’s first feature, Custody [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
]
, completed its incredible journey last night at the 44th César Awards after originally premiering at Venice back in September 2017, where it scooped the award for Best Director and the Lion of the Future. The film won four César awards last night for Best French Film, Best Actress (Léa Drucker), Best Screenplay (which went to Legrand himself) and Best Editing (Yorgos Lamprinos). It’s worth noting that this is the sixth time a first feature has won the main prize at the César Awards, and is owed in part to the work of the film’s producer Alexandre Gavras (KG Productions), its French distribution company (Haut et Court, with 377,000 admission in France) and its international sales company Celluloid Dreams (about fifty countries have purchased Custody to date).

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Legrand’s victory in a competition that seemed fairly open points to two relatively notable trends: the emergence of new award-winning talent (with Alex Lutz winning the Best Actor César for Guy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which also won an award in the music category, and Philippe Katerine winning the Best Supporting Actor César for Sink or Swim [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and a clear penchant for films that tackle painful social subjects (domestic violence in Custody, paedophilia in Little Tickles [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Andréa Bescond and Éric Métayer, which won Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actress for Karin Viard, juvenile prostitution in Shéhérazade [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Jean-Bernard Marlin, which scored a hat-trick, scooping the awards for Best First Film, Most Promising Actor and Most Promising Actress, and criminal investigation in So Help Me God [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Libon and Yves Hinant
film profile
]
by Jean Libon and Yves Hinant, which won the award for Best Documentary).

That’s not to say that established filmmakers were entirely swept aside by this new wave of emerging talent, The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]
won four César awards (including Best Director for Jacques Audiard and three technical awards for Best Photography, Sound and Set Design), Dilili in Paris [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Michel Ocelot won Best Animated Feature Film, and the Palme d’Or winner Shoplifters by the Japanese director Kirokazu Kore-eda (which also tackles contemporary social issues) won Best Foreign Film.

The award winners:

Best Film

Custody [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
]
 – Xavier Legrand

Best Actress
Léa Drucker - Custody

Best Actor
Alex Lutz - Guy [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Director
Jacques Audiard - The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile
]

Best Original Screenplay
Xavier Legrand – Custody

Best Adapted Screenplay
André Bescond, Eric Métayer - Little Tickles [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Best Supporting Actress 
Karin Viard – Little Tickles

Best Supporting Actor
Philippe Katerine - Sink or Swim [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Most Promising Actress
Kenza Fortas – Shéhérazade [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Most Promising Actor
Dylan Robert – Shéhérazade

Best First Film
Shéhérazade - Jean-Bernard Marlin

Best Documentary
So Help Me God [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Libon and Yves Hinant
film profile
]
 - Jean Libon and Yves Hinant (France/Belgium)

Best Animated Feature Film
Dilili in Paris [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 - Michel Ocelot (France/Germany/Belgium)

Best Photography
Benoît Debie – The Sisters Brothers

Best Editing
Yorgos Lamprinos – Custody [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Xavier Legrand
film profile
]


Best Original Soundtrack
Vincent Blanchard, Romain Greffe – Guy

Best Sound
Brigitte Taillandier, Valérie de Loof, Cyril Holtz – The Sisters Brothers

Best Costume Design

Pierre-Jean Larroque - Mademoiselle de Joncquières [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Emmanuel Mouret
film profile
]

Best Set Design
Michel Barthelemy - The Sisters Brothers

Best Short Film
Les petites mains - Rémi Allier

Best Animated Short Film
Vilaine fille
– Ayce Kartal

Best Foreign Film
Shoplifters - Kirokazu Kore-eda (Japan)

(Translated from French)

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