‘No culture, no future’: French film awards turn into protest over Covid closures

France’s annual celebration of cinema, Les Césars, on Friday became the stage for venting frustrations over the months-long shutdown of theatres. Actress Corinne Masiero stole the limelight when she stripped naked with the words “No culture, no future” written across her front as she presented the costume award.

The mood was set from the opening monologue, as mistress of ceremonies Marina Fois launched a scathing attack on Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot.

“The minister hasn’t done nothing… Madame Bachelot, you released a book with your recipe for pasta and gorgonzola,” the actress joked, before striking a sad note to conclude: “What we miss is what unites us, the emotions that we experience together.”

Bachelot was reportedly present in the Olympia venue in Paris for the 46th edition, but the television channel Canal+ was instructed not to zoom in on her.

Several participants at the César Awards used the event as a platform to confront the government over its decision to keep cinemas shut since October, even as most other businesses have reopened.

“My children can go to Zara but not the cinema… it’s incomprehensible,” said Stephane Demoustier as he picked up the Cesar for best screenplay for “The Girl With a Bracelet”.



For her part, actress Corinne Masiero turned her message into performance art. She wore a bloody donkey costume, before stripping naked – to reveal messages painted on her body – referring to how cinema industry workers see themselves “stripped” of work in the face of the pandemic.

On her back were the words “Give us back our art Jean,” directed at Prime Minister Jean Castex, while on her chest were the words “No culture no future”.

The country has seen mounting protests in recent days over the closure of cultural sites, with several theatres occupied by activists and students.

Greater diversity

The big winner on the night was Adieu les Cons (Bye Bye Morons), a comedy drama about a seriously ill woman searching for her long-lost child, which took home seven awards including best film and best director for Albert Dupontel.

Continue reading “‘No culture, no future’: French film awards turn into protest over Covid closures”


Women who speak out celebrated at France’s “Victoires de la musique” awards

Pomme, a singer with sensitive lyrics, who this week spoke out against sexual abuse in the industry was crowned Best Female artist of the year at the 36th annual French music awards. In the new talent category, Yseult, dazzled the scene with her message tackling the taboo of body shape and acceptance of one’s origins.

Due to the Covid-19 health crisis, the 36th Victoires de la musique took place on Friday evening in a strange atmosphere without any audience, at the Seine Musicale concert hall in Boulogne-Billancourt, on the outskirts of Paris.

However, nearly 200 extras were present in the hall to applaud the artists’ performance.

Pomme, the voice of the #MeToo movement in music, won Best Female Artist, her second Victoire, after her album Les Failles won a prize last year.


This trophy is a big spotlight on the #MeToo movement, still in its infancy in the music industry and named #Musictoo.

Pomme described her “arrival in the music industry” as “traumatic” in an open letter published Thursday by the online medium Mediapart. “From the age of 15 to 17, I was manipulated, morally and sexually harassed, without being aware of it at the time of course,” the 24-year-old artist said.

When she received her award on Friday, she wished for a “safer (music) industry for women”, hoping that they could “overturn the codes” of the business.

Also speaking out for women, and in particular women of colour, was Yseult, who won Best New Female Talent award.

“There is still a long way to go for women, for black women, for fat women,” commented Yseult.

The singer has always explained that she uses the colour of her skin and her body shape as a political weapon through her songs and videos.

Benjamin Biolay was awarded Best Male Artist and Best album for Grand Prix. At the age of 48, he has now won six awards. He didn’t shy away from pointing out how hard the year has been for the culture industry in France due to the pandemic.

“It hasn’t been a very winning year for music,” said Biolay as he received his first trophy of the evening, the trophy for male artist.

He has openly criticized what he describes as the “deafening silence of the public authorities” towards the music industry in general, and of the stage in particular, weakened by the Covid-19 health crisis.

Benjamin Biolay receives the 5th Victory of his career from the hands of Jean Louis Aubert.
Benjamin Biolay receives the 5th Victory of his career from the hands of Jean Louis Aubert. © RFI / Edmond Sadaka

Jane Birkin gets career award

Mais je t’aime, by Grand Corps Malade and Camille Lellouche, was named best song.

The Victory of Best new Male Talent came to Hervé. The best video clip was won by Julien Doré, for Nous, with his two mischievous dinosaurs.

The ceremony, regularly accused of snubbing the big sellers of the moment – from urban music – also highlighted the most streamed title (more than 101 million times) between December 2019 and November 2020, Ne reviens pas, by Gradur and Heuss L’Enfoiré.

Among the other prizes awarded was the Victory of Honour awarded to Jane Birkin for her entire career.

Source: Women who speak out celebrated at France’s “Victoires de la musique” awards

Video Highlights Victoires de la Musique 2018 


The nominees:

Artiste féminine :
Charlotte Gainsbourg
Catherine Ringer

Artiste masculin
Bernard Lavilliers

Chanson originale
Dommage – Bigflo & Oli
Ton Mec – Kyo
Si t’étais là – Louane
Soprano – Roule

Album révélation
Comme on respire – Aliose
Petite Amie – Juliette Armanet
Présence – Petit Biscuit

Révélation scène
Eddy de Pretto
Gaël Faye

Album de chansons
Nues – Brigitte
L’un de nous – Albin de la Simone
Géopoétique – MC Solaar

Album rock
Puzzle – BB Brunes
Accidentally Yours – Lady Sir
The Evol – Shaka Ponk

Album de musiques électroniques ou dance
Deux – Alb
Temperance – Dominique Dalcan
Karmaprena – Fakear

Album de musiques urbaines
La Vraie Vie – Bigflo & Oli
Flip – Lomepal
La fête est finie – Orelsan

Album de musiques du monde

La Confusion d’Amadou & Mariam
Lamomali de -M-, Toumani Diabaté, Sidiki Diabaté, Fatoumata Diawara
Mogoya d’Oumou Sangaré

Concert ou spectacle musical
Tour de Camille
Depardieu sings Barbara , Gérard Depardieu
& Tour , Julien Doré

Audiovisual creation 
Basic of Orelsan
Provided with Gauvain Sers
Territory by The Blaze