27 February 2010 12:00 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »

Paris -- Jacques Audiard's prison drama "A Prophet" (Un Prophete) won nine awards, including French film of the year and best director, during the 35th annual Cesar Awards ceremony.

"Prophet" star Tahar Rahim won the best actor and most promising actor prizes Saturday at the Chatelet Theatre for his role as a young Arab man sent to French prison who eventually gains power among the reigning Corsican mafia. "Long live French cinema," Rahim proclaimed as he accepted his second prize.

French actress-singer Vanessa Paradis presented the director prize to Audiard, who thanked the Academy before launching into a politically charged talk about France's immigrant population.

Niels Arestrup, no stranger to Audiard's films, was named best supporting actor for his performance in "Prophet."

Nominated in 13 categories, "Prophet" -- which Sony Pictures Classics opened Friday in the U.S., where it has been nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar -- also won Cesars for original screenplay, »

- By Rebecca Leffler

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