Created in 2016 by Unifrance, the French Cinema Award (redesigned in 2018 by the Maison Daum*), is intended to celebrate a personality from the international film industry who has worked to promote French cinema around the world.
An actress now celebrated worldwide, Virginie Efira, originally from Belgium, began her film career in the late 2000s, in the sophisticated comedy genre, in which she excels, such as The Perfect Date (Dominique Farrugia, Arnaud Lemort), It Boy (David Moreau), Up for Love (Laurent Tirard), and In Bed with Victoria by Justine Triet. This role led to her first nomination for the César for Best Actress in 2017, and marked a turning point in her filmography. Subsequently, Elfira tackled more serious fare, including Not On My Watch (Emmanuelle Cuau), An Impossible Love (Catherine Corsini, leading to another nomination for the César for Best Actress), and Night Shift (Anne Fontaine). She reunited with Justine Triet for Sibyl (in Competition at Cannes in 2018) and exercised her explosive comic timing in Bye Bye Morons, generating her third César nomination for Best Actress; the film released in 40 countries and established her as a popular star.
International recognition came in 2021 with the title role in Paul Verhoeven's Benedetta, in Competition in Cannes and which released in more than 50 countries. The film would lead to her fourth César nomination for Best Actress.
Virginie Efira's brilliant career is now moving toward roles that allow her to explore emotions and intimacy in depth. Waiting for Bojangles by Régis Roinsard, Paris Memories by Alice Winocour, Other People's Children by Rebecca Zlotowski, all released in 2022 – "Virginie Efira's year" given how omnipresent the actress was – each in their own way underline the extent of her powerful range, her ability to embody extraordinary or, on the contrary, very simple characters in whom spectators from all over the world can recognize themselves, and her ability to work in different genres.
She will soon be on screen in Valérie Donzelli's film Just the Two of Us.
The French Cinema Awards since 2016
* Art is an expression of emotions, a universal language. It is, indeed, "meant to disturb," in the words of the artist Georges Braque. The vision of the Maison Daum is about awakening a reminiscence of ancestral art; it also expresses an abiding connection with the art scene, through over 400 collaborations with artists over the years (such as Armand, Braque, Dali, Mesnager, and Kongo, among others). The Maison Daum wishes, through the French Cinema Award, to offer a magical work representing the wings of a white crystal angel created by Jean Lamore, which serves as a veritable symbol of the pure emotion of aesthetic pleasure.