It is in an almost empty Olympia that the 46e Caesar ceremony. Until the end its organizers and the mistress of ceremonies, actress Marina Foïs, hoped that she could stand in public and offer a united face, able to forget the heartbreak of last year. The health situation decided otherwise. And so that it is not entirely virtual, only the nominees, the presenters of each prize and the honored personalities will be present, that is to say approximately 150 people in a room which can contain 2000 of them.
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With 125 films released in theaters in 2020 against 250 usually, some did not hesitate to ask the question of maintaining a ceremony often considered boring and stiff. Not the new direction of the Academy of Arts and Techniques of Cinema, chaired by Véronique Cayla, former patron of Arte, and director Éric Toledano. “In this complicated year, it was important not that the cinema reflects another sign of weakness”, defended the duo in Le Film français.
Turning the page on the Terzian era
“In the times we are going through, it was important to affirm as a strong symbol our support for the profession and to show how much cinema remains alive despite the difficult conditions”, underlines Frédérique Bredin, the former president of the CNC who sits on the Academy’s office. Marina Foïs does not say anything else, in her way, much more direct. “The white year, I understand it for intermittents, not for the ceremony, she quips. We have a window to exist, what would it mean to disappear? The culture has been seriously impacted, we have one knee on the ground and we would not have the right to express ourselves? “.
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Maintaining it is also showing that the Academy of Caesar has been able to turn the page on the Terzian era, its former president, forced a year ago to resign under pressure from part of the profession who judged its opaque and undemocratic management. An institutional crisis which was doubled, on the evening of the ceremony, by a deep questioning of the lack of parity and diversity of the institution, culminating with the scandal of the Caesar handed over to Roman Polanski and the departure of the room Adèle Haenel.
Since then reforms have been initiated and the statutes modified. All the representatives sitting in its bodies (General Assembly, Board of Directors, and Presidency) are elected and these are made up of joint pairs. “ What has been done so far is in line with what the profession expected, notes Frédérique Bredin. The simple fact that Marina Foïs is the mistress of ceremonies is a sign of this insofar as she herself carried this desire for reform ”. This also recognizes the work undertaken, while stressing that there is still a way to go, to expand and renew the college of voters (4,313 members), which is still too masculine (66%), and to offer more space for diversity. .
A diversity to be “fetched” in French cinema
“ Diversity is more complicated to achieve than parity. We have to create the desire to get involved, to go and find the candidates ourselves. We will organize this reflection after the ceremony ”, justifies Frédérique Bredin. For the 50/50 collective, very vigilant in these areas, the reforms are real. “ Now we will have to see, as always, if in practice the objectives are achieved, explains its co-president Sandrine Brauer. But on the crucial question of who is in charge, the new management put in place inspires us rather confidence. What we want is to achieve change, not cut heads ”.
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“ Some will still not agree, others will find that we are not going fast enough but at least the debate today is possible “, welcomes Marina Foïs, although she had to endure the refusal of several personalities including Adèle Haenel to participate in the evening. The objective remains despite everything to display this evening the united face of a profession hard shaken by the closure of theaters for more than five months.
With a ceremony refocused on the cinema itself, wished Éric Toledano, honoring films that have sometimes suffered from too short exposure in theaters. “ The crisis was extremely beneficial but it does not change anything for the public, confirms Pascal Rogard, president of the SACD. The Caesars remain a television program and it is certainly not the place to debate the subjects that disturb our profession.. “
Ceremony, new rules and favorites
The 46e Caesar ceremony broadcast in clear on Canal + from 9 p.m. is chaired by Roschdy Zem and moderated by Marina Foïs.
Several rules have been changed: suppression of the César of the public which rewarded the film which made the most entries in rooms; re-establishment of the possibility of accumulating the César for best film and best director; presentation of the César for high school students, chosen from among the five films nominated, during the ceremony.
The things we say, the things we do, by Emmanuel Mouret, Summer 85, by François Ozon and Goodbye Cons, by Albert Dupontel came first in the nominations.
A birthday Caesar will be awarded this year to the Splendid team.