PARIS -Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue Is the Warmest Color" won the Cannes Palme d'Or. But the Wild Bunch-sold title has some serious competition at France's Cesar Awards - the country's equivalents of the Oscars.

Announced Friday by France's Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences at the Fouquet restaurant on the Champs Elysees Friday, "Blue" scored in eight categories, two behind Gaumont's "Me, Myself and Mum," the directorial debut of Comedie Française-trained actor Guillaume Gallienne, which, having won two prizes at Cannes' Directors' Fortnight, broke out to a more than two million tix sales at the French box office, making it one of France's only considerable hits of last year.

Also in the running for select trophies are Catherine Deneuve ("On Her Way"), Mathieu Amalric (Jimmy P.") and Lea Seydoux - for "Blue."

"Blue" and "Me, Myself and Mum" are two gems discovered at Cannes: "Blue" was selected by Thierry Fremaux to play in competition and won the Palme d'Or, while "Mum" was picked up by Edouard Waintrop to bow at Directors' Fortnight and snatched up two awards.

It's the second year in the row that Gaumont tops Cesar nominations with a Directors' Fortnight player. Last year, Noemie Lvovsky's romantic comedy "Camille Rewinds," co-produced by Gaumont, screened at Directors' Fortnight and went on to earn 13 Cesar nominations, beating Michael Haneke's "Amour" and Jacques Audiard's "Rust and Bone." But the pic didn't win a single kudo. This year, however, Gallienne's movie has better chances of winning at least a couple prizes -- the film, produced by LGM Cinema and Rectangle Prods., just nabbed best first film and best actor at the Lumiere Awards, Gaul's equivalent to the Golden Globes.

More to come...

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