Claude Chabrol's latest opus Nightcap (Merci Pour Le Chocolat) has won France's coveted Prix Louis-Delluc, while Laurent Cantet's Sundance title Human Resources has been awarded the Louis-Delluc prize for a first film.

Other contenders included Dominik Moll's Cannes sensation Harry, Un Ami Qui Vous Veut Du Bien, Jean-Pierre Denis' Les Blessures Assassines, Arnaud Despechin's English-language period piece Esther Kahn and Alain Cavalier's Vies.

Nightcap - a psychological thriller starring Isabelle Huppert and Jacques Dutronc and produced and distributed by Marin Karmitz's MK2 - has been enjoying a solid run at the French box office since its release in October, racking up 745,000 admissions in five weeks.

The Prix Louis-Delluc, awarded by a jury of film critics chaired by Cannes film festival president Gilles Jacob, went last year to Otar Iosseliani's Adieu Plancher Des Vaches.