-Ernest & Celestine, My Sunny Mad, Little Nicholas Nominated for the César of the French Academy

Nominations for France's 48th Cesar Awards were announced Wednesday. The winners will be announced at a ceremony on February 24 at the Olympia Concert Hall in Paris.

Nominated this year for Best Animated Feature are three films: Julien Chen and Jean-Christophe Roger's Ernest & Celestine: A Trip to Gibberitia", Mikaela Pavlatová's "My Sunny Maad", and Amandine Fredon and Benjamin Masuble's "Little Nicholas - Happy as Can Be" were nominated.

A U.S. distributor for the "Ernest and Celestine" sequel has not yet been announced, but the film has been released in France and Italy since early December, with a North American release planned for 2023. The film is produced by Folivari, France 3 Cinéma, and Les Armateurs, with Studio Canal handling international sales.

Both "My Sunny Maad" and "Little Nicholas - Happy as Can Be" boast strong festival careers, with the former winning the Jury Prize in Annecy in 2021 and the latter the Cristal for Best Feature in 2022.

Produced by Negativ Film, Sacrebleu Productions, and Bfilm, My Sunny Maad is the Oscar-nominated feature debut of Pavlatová. Unfortunately, the film did not receive a theatrical release in the U.S. Totem Films handled worldwide sales and Diaphana Distribution released the film in France.

Little Nicholas - Happy as Can Be was produced by Foliascope and Bidable Productions and was released theatrically in the United States in December 2022 by distributor Buffalo 8. Masbre has worked as an editor on numerous award-winning films, including "Ridge of the Gods," "I Lost My Body," and "Long Way North," but this is the first film Fredon and Masbre have directed to be nominated for a Cesar Award.

In the animated short film category, Margo Lemont's Câline, Marie Larivet's Black Sun (Noir-Soleil), Urschka Juki? and Emilie Pillard's "Granny's Sexual Life" were nominated. Notably, all of this year's short film nominees were directed by women, a rarity in the animation category of major awards.

"Black Sun" was in Competition at Cannes, Clermont-Ferrand (where it won the SACD Award), GLAS, and numerous other festivals, while "Granny's Sexual Life" was screened at Annecy, Anima, Clermont-Ferrand, Taryn Black Knight, and numerous other festivals. Câline won the Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles award for Best Animated Short Film at the Anima Brussels film festival in Belgium last year. Award at the Anima Brussels Film Festival in Belgium last year.

The trailers for the three shorts are as follows:

In the visual effects category, Guillaume Marian for "The Five Devils," Sébastien Lame for "Smoking Causes Coughing," Laurens Hermann for "Notre Dame on Fire, Michael Tan Uy for "November," and Marco Del Bianco for "Pacification" were nominated.

For a complete list of the 2023 César nominees in the animation and VFX categories: