The César Awards is the national film award of France. It is delivered in the Nuit des César ceremony and was first awarded in 1976. The nominations are selected by the members of twelve categories of filmmaking professionals and supported by the French Ministry of Culture. The nationally televised award ceremony is held in Paris each year in February. The exact location has changed over the years (in the Théâtre du Châtelet from 2002 to 2016). It is an initiative from the Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma which was founded in 1975.
The César Award is considered the highest film honor in France, the French film industry's equivalent to the Molière Award for theatre, and the Victoires de la Musique for music. In cinema, it is the French equivalent to the Academy Award.
The award was created by Georges Cravenne, who was also the creator of the Molière Award for theatre. The name of the award comes from the sculptor César Baldaccini (1921–1998) who designed it.
The 45th César Awards ceremony took place on 28 February 2020. Les Misérables, directed by Ladj Ly, won the award for Best Film.