Top-notch French showbiz celebrities came together in Paris on Friday for the 41st Cesars, just two days ahead of its Hollywood equivalent, the Oscars. France’s top film awards ceremony, the Cesars, celebrated diversity of films about forced marriage and the struggles of life as an immigrant.
Philippe Faucon’s contemporary immigrant drama “Fatima” won best film at France’s César ceremony in Paris on Friday, beating hot favorites Marguerite, My Golden Years, and Oscar nominee Mustang as well as Palme d’Or winner Dheepan.
Best picture award went to Fatima as well. The best-picture autobiography is about an immigrant Moroccan woman struggling to raise her two teenagers in France and working as a cleaning lady to give them the best life possible. However, with her rudimentary French while her daughters have trouble speaking Arabic, communication gets quite difficult, especially with her unruly younger daughter.
The leading role was played by Algerian Soria Zeroual, a real-life cleaning lady who found herself nominated for best actress alongside French cinema greats, Isabelle Huppert and Catherine Deneuve.
Other winners on Friday night included foreign language Oscar nominee Mustang and local box office hit Marguerite. Franco-Turkish Deniz Gamze Erguven’s Mustang picked up four prizes: best first film, best screenplay, best score and best editing.