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

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

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 and tagged



Omar Sy is a beautiful actor and is a beautiful boy!!! =)


Omar Sy, Untouchable is the first black actor to receive a nomination for best actor, and he won without have received any other nomination since he plays, in France you have those categories best male rising talent, best woman rising talent who don't exist in the Oscars, a few year a Aissa Maiga has got a nomination for best woman rising talent for the movie Bamako, but Omar Sy is not the black who has won a Cesar award. The first black to win a Cesar is miss Euzhan Palcy who won the Cesar award in 1984 for the best first movie call Rue Case Nègre, in english “Sugar Cane Alley” (this category is not exist in Oscars) Cesar refuse to give nomination for the cast member, i remember the movie won big at the Mostra of Venice in 1983 with the silver lion for the movie and the best female actress for Darling Légitimus who played lead role of M’man Tine(the grandmother of José), she died in 1999 and she wasn't mentioned and remember by Cesar in people who has lost. It's black actors and actress movement call freedom (who fight for more black actors and actress in French film) without invitation in the ceremony who salute her work and remember her. The black actor who receive a cesar is Will Smith in honor of in his entire career (for all movies he has done) I'm not saying it is not a good for Omar, but cinema is still segregated in France you have a lack of representation of black actors and actress in the movie and in the media, French producer explain that people isn't ready to see many black people in the movie, one maybe, two no, is too much. I hope a change gonna come, wait and see, just all over the world is very very difficult to be black, every black has the same problem we must join our force to fight, Thank you Mrs Tambay for everything you're doing to make black cinema shine, we need you and need every people to support black movie.


Didn't Isaach DeBankole win this award before?


Congratulations to Mr Sy. I watched Intouchables. What a performance! Great to see France reward the great performance of a black actor in a category that also included a white actor (Jean Dujardin) who's been cleaning out awards this season. Where are all the posters? There should be more reactions to this historical win.

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