Eight films have been short-listed for France's prestigious Louis Delluc prize. Half of the nominees hail from confirmed masters and half from younger talent.

The films are: Eric Rohmer's The Romance Of Astrea And Celadon , Belle Toujours from Manoel de Oliveira, A Girl Cut In Two by Claude Chabrol, Andre Techine's The Witnesses, Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi's Actresses, Before I Forget from Jacques Nolot, Christophe Honore's Love Songs and Abdellatif Kechiche's La Graine Et Le Mulet.

Chabrol's film has already taken the Filmcritica Bastone Bianco Award in Venice while Bruni-Tedeschi's was the Special Jury Prize winner in Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar this year. Meanwhile, Kechiche, whose Esquive took Cesar Awards in 2005 for best film, director and original screenplay, won four awards in Venice for La Graine Et Le Mulet earlier this year.

Five other films are competing for the Louis Delluc prize for the best first film. They are: Cannes Jury Prize winner, and France's entry for the foreign language Oscar, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud; Au-Dela De La Haine by Olivier Meyrou; Lola Doillon's Et Toi, T'Es Sur Qui'; Un Certain Regard title Water Lillies by Celine Sciamma and Mia Hansen-Love's Tout Est Pardonne.

Winners of the prize, created in 1937, will be announced on December 12 in Paris. Last year's winners were Pascale Ferran's Lady Chatterley and Jean-Pierre Darroussin's Le Pressentiment .