Nominees for Cesar Awards announced

PARIS - France's Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences announced on Wednesday the nominations for the 2015 annual Cesar Awards, the French version of the Oscars.

Timbuktu, Saint Laurent, La Famille Bélier, Hippocrate, Eastern Boys, Love at First Sight and Clouds of Sils Maria are among the nominations for best film.

Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent film earned 10 nominations including best film, best actor and best director. 

Jalil Lespert’s competing biopic of the fashion icon, Yves Saint Laurent, secured seven nominations. 

Thomas Cailley's Love at First Fight earned nine nominations for the director's first film.

Abderrahmane Sissako’s Oscar-nominated Timbuktu, a film that tells the story of a Malian family struggling under tyranny, received eight nominations, including best film and best director.

The nominees for best foreign film include Cannes’ Palme d’Or winner Turkish film Winter Sleep, Golden Globe winner and Oscar favorite Boyhood, last year’s best film winner at the Oscars, 12 Years a Slave, as well as Ida, Mommy, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Two Days, One Night.

American actress Kristen Stewart scored a supporting actress nomination for Sils Maria.  

The American actor Sean Penn will receive one of the most prestigious French honorary awards in recognition of his role as one of cinema's living legends, the organizers said in a statement on Tuesday. 

The Academy said that the 54-year-old actor is a "mythical actor, politically active personality and an exceptional director." 

 The 40th Cesar Awards take place Feb. 20 at Paris’ Chatelet Theater, just two days before the Oscars ceremony in the United States.

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