For the César 2023 for the best achievement, awarded during the evening of Friday February 24, one thing is certain: the artist rewarded will be a man. The five films nominated in this category (In body, The Innocent, November, The Night of 12 And Pacifiction: Torment on the Islands) were all made by men. Yet, according to a study by the National Cinema Center (CNC)about a quarter of French directors were women in 2020.
This under-representation in the directing category is not new: since the creation of the Césars in 1976, they represent only 10% of nominations. Parity had been nearly achieved in 2016, 2017 and 2022, with three women nominated for every four men – with none winning the award. The only director to have been honored is Tonie Marshall, for Venus Beauty (Institute), in 2000.
We find the same imbalance on the production side: the works nominated for the best film have often been produced or co-produced by men. If we go back to 2010, for example, we only find one Caesarized film with a single producer: Goodbye idiotsproduced by Catherine Bozorgan, awarded in 2021. Six other Caesarized films were by men and women, only one of which was tied, 120 beats per minute, produced by Hugues Charbonneau and Marie-Ange Luciani.
26% of women appointed in 2023
All categories combined, women represent a fifth of the nominations and a fifth of the prizes since the creation of the ceremony. In 2023, 26% of women are in the running to obtain the coveted French cinema trophy. Nominations and winners are chosen by secret ballot by the members of the Césars academy, a body made up of 56% men (compared to 65% in 2020).
As noted bystudy published on February 16 by the Collectif 50/50, which fights for the rights of women in cinema, the lack of nominations does not necessarily reflect a lack of women in the profession: in the category of best sets, for example, we has few laureates, whereas, according to CNC estimates, they represent more than 40% of decorators and props designers.
The overall under-representation of women at the Césars ceremony masks strong disparities depending on the category. Over the past ten years, the only nomination with more women (79%) than men was for best costume. But this is still less than the share of women in the profession (89%, according to the CNCin 2020).