The « César » are awarded by a two-round secret ballot, online or by correspondence, in which all members of the Academy who are up to date with their subscriptions may participate, on eligible films released in cinemas between 1 January and 31 December of the previous year.
Organised by a specialised company and controlled by a judicial officer, the voting procedure respects very demanding criteria :
- Reserved for active members of the Academy only (having paid their annual membership fee),
- Exhaustive and fair presentation of eligible people and films,
- Guarantee of anonymity of votes and of not communicating to any third party the voters’ register,
- Guaranteed confidentiality of results.
The number of registered voters for the 2020 César is 4313.
At any time up to November 30 of the year preceding the Ceremony, any film rights holder or person likely to be eligible may report to the Academy’s secretariat at [email protected] any information concerning the eligibility of a film or person for one of the Caesars awarded at this Ceremony.
Eligible people and films
The Academy’s secretariat makes the most exhaustive possible inventory of the people and films eligible for the César, based on the information collected by the CNC. It then systematically asks production or distribution companies to validate this data before publishing it in the voting documents.
Eligible feature films
These are all feature films (fiction, documentary, animation) released in theatres during the year before any other public presentation, and respecting the minimum exhibition conditions defined by the Academy’s Regulations.
Depending on their production characteristics and language of shooting, they will be eligible for the different categories of César awards (Best Film, Foreign Film, Documentary Film, Long Animation Film, First Film).
Eligible short films
All short films that have obtained an exploitation visa between July 1st and June 30th of the year preceding the Ceremony are eligible to compete. A pre-selection is then made by the Short Film Committee and the Animation Committee of the Academy in September.
All persons who have held a position distinguished by one of the various César categories may compete on at least one of the feature films eligible for the César for Best Film or French-language feature films and French-language minority co-productions eligible for the César for Best Foreign Film.
For the 2020 César, 633 films have been identified as eligible by the secretariat of the Academy and divided into 21 César categories:
- 220 films eligible for the César for Best Film,
- 377 films eligible for the César for Best Foreign Film,
- 36 short films (24 for the César for Best Short Film and 12 for the César for Best Animated Film (Short Film))
- 2,745 professionals.
The first round of the César determines the nominations, i.e. the persons or films having obtained the highest number of votes, in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Rules of the Academy.
PRESENTATION OF ELIGIBLE FILMS TO MEMBERS
In order to help its members make their voting choices, the Academy proposes several solutions to help members discover or rediscover the pre-eligible and eligible films. These schemes are validated each year by the Academy’s Board of Directors.
Tools available to members
- A Year of Cinema: Starting in the second quarter, all feature films pre-eligible for the various César categories are presented to members on the Academy’s website in the Year of Cinema section.
Members also receive an email every Wednesday informing them of the theatrical releases of the films listed in the Year of Cinema.
- The Film Guide [FR]: The Film Guide presents all the people and films eligible for the different categories. This Guide is given to each member of the Academy.
- The Film Index [FR]: The Film Index, a summary of the Film Guide, lists all the feature films competing for the César for Best Film, as well as all the French-language feature films and French minority production films competing for the César for Best Foreign Film. It is given to each member of the Academy with all the voting material.
View eligible films
- For feature films:
– From November until January, at the request of the beneficiaries, the Academy can send invitations to each member’s home, allowing them to attend private screenings or free tickets for films that are still showing.
– Film rights holders can also choose to offer their film on DVD in the César DVD Box Set, which is delivered personally to each member of the Academy in mid-December.These viewing devices are optional and are at the choice of each rights holder (production or distribution company).
- For short films:
– Five screenings of all the short films selected for the César for Best Short Film and the César for Best Animated Film (Short Film), are organised in November and December at the UGC Odéon cinema.
– Five DVDs presenting the Official Selections eligible for the César for Best Short Film and the César for Best Animated Film (short film) are sent to the members of the Academy as part of the César DVD Box Set.
PROGRESS OF THE 1st ROUND
After having provided the voting members with the various film viewing devices, the Academy sends the voting material for the first round at the beginning of January.
There are 5 nominations per category, with the exception of the following categories: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Animated Film, Best Foreign Film and Best Film, which have 7 nominations.
The closing of the first round takes place for online voting the day before the Nomination Press Conference, and for postal voting a few days earlier.
The counting of the votes of the first round is controlled and closed by two judicial officers, during the night preceding the Press Conference of Announcement of the Nominations. As soon as the counting is completed, the bailiffs shall publish the list of nominations which they shall immediately place in a sealed envelope, which they shall then hand over to the President of the Academy for the start of the Press Conference.
The Official List of Nominations for the César is then posted on the Academy’s website at the end of the Press Conference.
Opening of the 1st round of voting for the 2020 César: from Wednesday 2 January to Friday 24 January 2020 for the paper vote / to Tuesday 28 January 2020 at midnight for the online vote.
The second round determines, in each category, those who, having obtained the greatest number of votes, will be awarded the César.
The winners are announced at the César Ceremony at the end of February, in the presence of all the nominees and numerous personalities from French cinema.
PRESENTATION OF NOMINATED FILMS TO MEMBERS
In order to help its members make their voting choices, the Academy proposes several solutions to help members discover or rediscover the nominated films. These schemes are validated each year by the Academy’s Board of Directors.
Tools available to members
- The Official List of Nominations: the Press Conference announcing the Nominations marks the starting point for the second round. The results of the first round of voting, the Nominations, are announced and published in the Official List of Nominations for the César.
- The Nomination Catalogue [FR]: the Catalogue of Nominations allows members to rediscover each of the films that have received a nomination with for each one the screening schedules as part of the César Cinema Year.
- The Nominees Talks: the Nominees Talks sheds light on each nominee through an interview retracing his or her career. It is a way to get to know the films better through the words of those who have contributed to them (authors, technicians, producers…).
View the nominated films
- The César Cinema Year: during the two weeks preceding the closing of the second round, the Academy organizes screenings in Paris of all films that have received at least one nomination.
A unique opportunity for the members of the Academy but also for the general public to see or review all the nominated films.
COURSE OF THE 2ND ROUND
Voting materials for the second round are sent in early February to all voting members of the Academy.
The closing of the second round takes place for online voting at 4 p.m. on the day of the Ceremony, just a few hours before the opening of the prestigious awards evening.
The counting of the votes of the second round is controlled and closed by two bailiffs, from 4.01 pm. They then prepare the sealed envelopes containing the names of the 23 winners. From then on, they keep the 23 envelopes permanently and securely.
As the trophies are announced, one of the two bailiffs personally hand-deliver the sealed envelope to the person presenting the César (called the hander), who will then open it on stage and read it live.
This makes it absolutely impossible for anyone other than the two bailiffs to know the results in advance.
Opening of the 2nd round of voting for the 2020 César: from Monday 3 February to Tuesday 25 February 2020 for the paper vote / to Friday 28 February 2020 at 4 p.m. for the online vote.