Blockbuster director boycotts awards ceremony

11th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

The director of France’s most successful comedy film Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis (Welcome to the Sticks) snubs awards ceremony after his film was nominated for only one award.

PARIS – The director and star actor of France's most successful film ever "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis" said Tuesday he would boycott the Cesar ceremony after his film was nominated for just one award.

Dany Boon suggested in a radio interview that the film's failure to pick up more nominations was a snub from an elitist milieu turning its nose up at mass appeal comedies.

"We should be able to recognise it when a film is successful and is enjoyed by the audience. We do make films for the audience," said Boon on RTL radio.

Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis, a comedy that makes light of prejudices against France's bleak north, has been nominated for best original script.

But it did not make the cut for France's best film of the year, with Mesrine about the real-life bank robber and French former public enemy number one Jacques Mesrine the favourite to win.

Boon suggested that a special Cesar award be created for the best comedy and said he would not be going to the awards ceremony in Paris on 27 February.

"No I will not be going, but it's okay, I'll watch them on television," he said.

"It's a shame really. It's a night to honour filmmaking and we won't be represented," he said.

"When you have success, it does create jealousy. People say 'he is successful, he has it all, he should not be rewarded, on top of that'," said Boon.

The film known in English as Welcome to the Sticks tells the story of a postman from the sunny south who is reassigned to the chilly north and finds much warmth in the region's inhabitants.

Bienvenue Chez les Ch'tis has been a smash success at the box office, with more than 20 million people rushing to see it, breaking the record held for decades by "La Grande Vadrouille," the 1966 classic starring Louis de Funes.

Hollywood actor Will Smith has signed a deal with Boon to make the English-language adaptation of the smash comedy hit.

[AFP / Expatica]

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