The Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier — the top honor for producer of the year — is traditionally awarded during a gala dinner held at Paris’ Georges V hotel.

Alain Attal took the French Academy’s producing prize ahead of the upcoming Cesar Awards.

The prize has become an early predictor for the top prize on the big night, and Attal’s win puts the two films he produced in the lead for a best film trophy: Gilles Lellouche’s Cannes comedy Sink or Swim and Jeanne Herry’s adoption drama In Safe Hands.

The prolific Attal is behind more than 30 films — including Guillaume Canet’s Blood Ties, starring Clive Owen and Marion Cotillard; Maiwenn’s My King; and Nicole Garcia’s Under the Land of the Moon — under his Les Productions du Tresor banner.

The top honor for producer of the year, the Prix Daniel Toscan du Plantier is traditionally awarded during a gala dinner held at Paris’ Georges V hotel. French stars came out to support their own champions, with Tahar Rahim, Karim Leklou, Sandrine Kiberlain and Elodie Bouchez among the luminaries. CanalPlus CEO Maxime Saada, BNP Paribas CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe and Audrey Azoulay, former culture minister and current ambassador to UNESCO, were also in attendance.

Current culture minster Franck Riester started the ceremony with an impassioned speech promising to fight for filmmakers in a challenging economic environment, adding that French cinema should remain “dynamic, diverse, and generous for artists creators, writers, actors [and] directors.”

He added that the government will continue to support filmmakers and exhibitors, alluding to the need for films to be on the big screen. “Cinema is the movie theater,” Riester said, speaking to a room full of producers and executives. “We will always support you in the movie theater. It is a unique experience.”

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