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Omar Sy Makes History: 1st Black Actor To Win César Award For Best Actor (French Equivalent Of Oscars)

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 24, 2012 at 6:33PM

His big year (or is it 2 years, since this all began in 2011) continues...
omar sy

His big year (or is it 2 years, since this all began in 2011) continues...

After being labeled a French black cinema icon, and then winning the Lumière award (essentially the French equivalent of the Golden Globes), in the Best Actor category, our man Omar Sy later picked up a nomination for the highest acting honor in France, the César Award for Best Actor - the French equivalent of the Oscar/Academy Award).

The awards ceremony just wrapped up in Paris, and let me be one of the first Statesiders to say congrats to Mr Sy for winning the César Award for Best Actor

I did some research, looking at the long list of all the actors who've won the award in that specific category (Best Actor) since they were first given out in 1976, and I determined that he's made history, being the first black man to win that particular award. But our French readers can correct me on that if I'm incorrect, although I don't believe I am. I looked up every single actor who's won the award, and none of them is black... until now anyway.

So it's like Sidney Poitier winning it for Lilies Of The Field in 1963. Wow.

The film he stars in, Intouchables, also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography and more; Sy's co-star, François Cluzet, who wasn't nominated for a Lumière, received a nod this time around in the same category.

But the film only walked away with that single award win out of 9 total nominations.

And I'll finally get to see Intouchables when it makes its stateside debut at the 17th edition of Rendez-Vous with French Cinema here in NYC, which runs from March 1-11, with more than two dozen French films making their stateside or New York premieres.

Check out the full list winners, courtesy of Deadline:

Best Picture
The Artist, producer: Thomas Langmann

Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

Bérénice Bejo, The Artist

Omar Sy, Untouchable

Supporting Actress
Carmen Maura, Les Femmes Du 6e Etage

Supporting Actor
Michel Blanc, L’Exercice De L’Etat

Original Screenplay
Pierre Schoeller – L’Exercice De L’Etat

Adapted Screenplay
Yasmina Reza, Roman Polanski – Carnage

Newcomer (Female) – TIE
Naidra Ayadi, Polisse
Clotilde Hesme, Angèle Et Tony

Newcomer (Male)
Grégory Gadebois, Angèle Et Tony

Original Score
Ludovic Bource – The Artist

Olivier Hespel, Julie Brenta, Jean-Pierre Laforce – L’Exercice De L’Etat

Guillaume Schiffman – The Artist

Laure Gardette, Yann Dedet – Polisse

Anaïs Romand – House Of Tolerance

Art Direction
Laurence Bennett – The Artist

First Film
Le Cochon De Gaza, director: Sylvain Estibal

Foreign Film
A Separation, director: Asghar Farhadi

Animated Film
Le Chat Du Rabbin, directors: Joann Sfar, Antoine Delesvaux

Tous Au Larzac, director: Christian Rouaud

Short Film
L’Accordeur, director: Olivier Treiner

This article is related to: Awards

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