The French awards season got underway on Monday with the Etoiles d'Or conferred by local film journalists. In a tie, best picture went to Sylvain Chomet's Les Triplettes De Belleville and Alain Resnais' Pas Sur La Bouche.

Chomet's film, which has picked up critics' awards in the States from such diverse places as Boston, San Diego, Seattle, Los Angeles and New York is hotly tipped to receive an Oscar nomination in the animation category and was also awarded the Etoile d'Or for original score.

Sylvie Testud took the trophy for best actress for her role in Alain Corneau's Stupeur Et Tremblements. The best actor prize was awarded to Daniel Auteuil for Pascal Bonitzer's Petites Coupures and the currently in release Apres Vous by Pierre Salvadori.

Best director went to Lucas Belvaux for his trilogy Un Couple Epatant, Cavale and Apres La Vie.

Best newcomer prizes were awarded to Laura Smet for Xavier Giannoli's Les Corps Impatients and Gaspard Ulliel for Andre Techine's Les Egares.

The producers' award went to Patrick Sobelman and Diane Elbaum for their work on the Belvaux trilogy. Michel Saint-Jean won a prize as best distributor via his work at Diaphana.