France's equivalent to the Oscars, the Cesars, is to hold its ceremony a week early to avoid a clash with the Academy Awards on Feb 29.

The Cesars will now be held on Feb 21. Nominations are due on Jan 23. The 29th edition will, as usual, be aired unencrypted on Canal Plus.

Europe Cinema Evenements (ECE Production), which organises the Cesars, is currently fielding offers to sell the event either wholly or in part.

ECE was run by the late Daniel Toscan du Plantier who died suddenly at the Berlin Film Festival last February. Possible names cited include Endemol, Lagardere, KM Production, former Canal Plus chairman Pierre Lescure or Le Public Systeme which organises the Deauville Festival of American Film, the Gerardmer horror fest and the Cognac thriller fest.

Meanwhile, the Paris Film Festival will also run a few weeks early from March 29 to April 6 with Isabelle Adjani acting as president.

The festival has undergone some growing pains in the past year as the city of Paris pulled its sponsorship from the event prior to its 2003 edition. Normally rife with American talent, last year saw some Americans cancel their attendance presumably due to war time tension. Agency DDB has been named to organise this year's festival.