‘Ernest & Celestine,’ ‘My Sunny Maad,’ ‘Little Nicholas’ Score French Academy César Nominations
France’s 48th César Award nominations were announced on Wednesday. Winners will be announced on February 24 during a ceremony held at the Olympia concert hall in Paris.
Three films scored best animated feature nominations this year, Julien Chheng and Jean-Christophe Roger’s Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia, Michaela Pavlátová’s My Sunny Maad, and Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Massoubre’s Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be.
A U.S. distributor for the Ernest & Celestine sequel hasn’t been announced yet, but it has been doing the rounds in France and Italy since early December and a 2023 North American release is planned. It’s produced by Folivari, France 3 Cinéma, and Les Armateurs, with Studio Canal handling international sales.
Both My Sunny Maad and Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be boast strong festival resumes and won prizes at Annecy, the former winning a jury award in 2021 and the latter taking the Cristal for best feature in 2022.
Produced by Negativ Film, Sacrebleu Productions, and Bfilm, My Sunny Maad is Oscar-nominated filmmaker Pavlátová’s feature debut. Unfortunately, the film never got a U.S. theatrical run but Totem Films handles global sales and Diaphana Distribution did release the film in France.
Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be was produced by Foliascope and Bidibul Productions and got a December 2022 U.S. theatrical run from distributor Buffalo 8. It’s the first film directed by Fredon and Massoubre to score a César nomination, although Massoubre has worked as an editor on numerous award-winning features including The Summit of the Gods, I Lost My Body, and Long Way North.
In the animated short film category, Margot Reumont’s Câline, Marie Larrivé’s Black Sun (Noir-Soleil), and Urška Djukič and Émilie Pigeard’s Granny’s Sexual Life received nominations. Notably, all of the short film nominees this year are women filmmakers, a rare occurrence in the animation category of any major awards show.
Black Sun screened in competition at Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand (SACD Award winner), GLAS, and numerous other festivals, while Granny’s Sexual Life hit Annecy, Anima, Clermont-Ferrand, Tallinn Black Nights, and a host of other events on its way to winning 2022’s European Film Award for best European short, animated or live-action. Câline won the Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles grand prize for best animated short at last year’s Anima Brussels festival in Belgium.
Trailers for all three shorts are below:
Visual effects nominations went to Guillaume Marien for The Five Devils, Sebastien Rame for Smoking Causes Coughing, Laurens Ehrmann for Notre Dame on Fire, Mikael Tan Uy for November, and Marco del Bianco for Pacification.
Here’s a list of all of the 2023 César nominations in animation and vfx categories:
- Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia (Julien Chheng, Jean-Christophe Roger)
- My Sunny Maad (Michaela Pavlátová)
- Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be (Amandine Fredon, Benjamin Massoubre)
- Câline (Margot Reumont)
- Black Sun (Marie Larrivé)
- Granny’s Sexual Life (Urška Djukič, Émilie Pigeard)
- Guillaume Marien, The Five Devils
- Sebastien Rame, Smoking Causes Coughing
- Laurens Ehrmann, Notre Dame on Fire
- Mikael Tang Uy, November
- Marco del Bianco, Pacifiction
Pictured at top: Ernest and Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia, My Sunny Maad, Little Nicholas – Happy as Can Be