A French actress stripped down naked on stage at the César Awards during a politically charged in protest at the months-long shutdown of cultural venues.
Corinne Masiero wore a bloodstained donkey costume before removing her clothes to reveal the words "No culture, no future" written across her front as she presented the costume award on Friday.
While most businesses have opened in France, theatres and cinemas have been closed for more than three months.
Demonstrators have demanded that the government do more to end the halt of performances and support the industry battered by the pandemic.
Several theatres were occupied on Friday in at least nine cities, while sit-ins at the Odeon Theatre on the Left Bank in Paris entered their eighth day.
Frustrations dominated Friday’s awards. In a direct appeal to French Prime Minister Jean Castex, a message on Masiero’s back read "Give us back art, Jean”.
Others joined the 57-year-old in using their time in the spotlight to appeal to the French Government.
"My children can go to Zara but not the cinema... it's incomprehensible," said Stephane Demoustier as he picked up the César for best screenplay for "The Girl With a Bracelet".
Mistress of ceremonies Marina Fois appeal directly to Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot in her opening monologue.
"The minister hasn't done nothing... Madame Bachelot, you released a book with your recipe for pasta and gorgonzola," the actress joked.
"What we miss is what unites us, the emotions that we experience together,” she concluded.
The best film award was given to comedy drama ‘Adieu Les Cons’ (Goodbye Morons). It depicts a seriously ill woman searching for her long-lost child and took home several Césars, including best director for Albert Dupontel.
Hanging heavy over the ceremony was the memory of last year's disastrous event.
Stars walked out and protestors were teargassed outside after the decision to award Polish director Roman Polanski, who is accused of multiple sexual assaults and the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.
The entire Cesar academy board resigned in the build-up to the 2020 ceremony due to the uproar over Polanski's nominations for his film "An Officer and a Spy".
Many saw the nominations as proof of the French industry's failure to respond to the #MeToo movement.