This year's Cesars - the French equivalent of the Oscars - have been awarded in Paris. Among those honored were Franco-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski and US actress Scarlett Johannson.
Roman Polanski, 80, won a Cesar for best director on Friday for his film "La Venus a la Fourrure" ("Venus in Furs"), a black comedy based on the 19th-century novella by Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the Austrian writer who gave his name to sadomasochism.
It is the fourth directing Cesar to be awarded to the filmmaker, who gave his wife, Emanuelle Seigner, the leading role in the film as a dominatrix who tries to subjugate a theater director.
The Cesar for best film was given to Guillaume Gallienne's autobiographical comedy, "Les Garcons et Guillaume, a table!", which premiered in Cannes last year under the English title "Me, Myself and Mum." Gallienne, who plays both himself and his mother, won five awards for the film, including best actor.
The award for the best foreign film went to "Alabama Monroe (The Broken Circle Breakdown" by Belgian Felix Van Groeningen, a film about a couple who face tragedy when their daughter is diagnosed with cancer.
French actress Sandrine Kiberlain received the award for best actress for her role in the comedy "9 Mois Ferme" ("9 Month Stretch"), while American actress Scarlett Johannson, who now lives in Paris, received an honorary award for her lifetime film work, which has included 35 films so far.
The favorite film going into the Cesars, the lesbian love film"La Vie d'Adele" ("Blue Is the Warmest Color"), which won the Palme d'Or'
in Cannes last year, came away empty-handed except for a best newcomer award for one of its young stars, Adele Exarchopoulos.
The Cesars are awarded each year on the Friday before the US Academy Awards (nicknamed the Oscars) are handed out. The presentation ceremony took place this year for the 39th time.
tj/pfd (AFP, AP, dpa)