Marc-André Grondin, shown at the Genie Awards in Toronto in 2006, has been nominated for a French film award as most promising young male actor. ((Aaron Harris/Canadian Press))

For the first time in the 34-year history of the César Awards, a Quebec actor has been nominated for the French film awards.

Marc-André Grondin is nominated as most promising young male actor for his role in the film Le Premier Jour Du Reste de Ta Vie (The First Day of the Rest of Your Life).

The family drama, directed by France's Rémi Bezançon, centres on certain days that changed the course of lives in an extended family.

Marie-José Crozes was nominated as most promising young female actress in 2004 for her role in Denys Arcand film The Barbarian Invasions. The film and Arcand won three awards, but Crozes did not win.

Grondin, who has appeared on TV and in film, first came to wide attention when he starred in C.R.A.Z.Y. Now 24, he also appears in Che and La Belle Bête.

He is cautious about his chances in France's prestigious film awards.

"I don't want to sound too pretentious," he told CBC News, speaking in French.

"I have a chance to do so many projects in France right now, and if all goes well, then I think I will be offered lots of jobs, but I don't think I could fit more into my timetable. At the same time, I could be surprised and that will change."

The film has been nominated for nine César awards, including best picture and best director.

Others in the most promising new actor category:

  • Ralph Amoussou, Aide-Toi, Le Ciel T'aidera
  • Laurent Capelluto,  A Christmas Tale (Un Conte De Noel).
  • Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, La Belle Personne.
  • Pio Marmai, The First Day of the Rest of Your Life.

Mesrine (Public Enemy No. 1), a France-Canada co-production shot partly in Quebec, leads César nominations with 10, including best picture.

The two-part biopic follows the life of a legendary 1970s gangster, played by Vincent Cassel, who scored a nomination for best actor.

The other contenders for best film:

  • Entre Les Murs (The Class), by Laurent Cantet.
  • Séraphine, by Martin Provost.
  • A Christmas Tale, by Arnaud Desplechin.
  • Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I've Loved You So Long)  by Philippe Claudel.
  • Paris, by Cédric Klapisch.
  • The First Day of the Rest of Your Life, by Rémi Bezançon.

The comedy A Christmas Tale has nine nominations and Séraphine has eight.

Kristin Scott Thomas picked up a nomination for best actress César for her lauded role in Claudel's I've Loved You So Long, which was overlooked by the Oscars.

The Class, Cantet's Oscar-nominated film scored five César nominations, including best director.