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PARIS– Kicking off France’s awards season, Abderrahmane Sissako’s “Timbuktu,” Bertrand Bonello’s “Saint Laurent” and Olivier Assayas’ “Sils Maria” are among the eight films set to compete for the prestigious Louis Delluc prize.

Headed by former Cannes film festival president Gilles Jacob, the Louis Delluc jury – made up of film critics — also selected Jean-Luc Godard’s Goodbye to Language,” Claus Drexel’s “Au bord du monde,” Pascal Ferran’s “Bird People,” Benoit Jacquot’s “Three Hearts” and Robin Campillon’s “Eastern boys.”

As every year, the lineup is almost entirely made up of Cannes’ official selection players:”Saint Laurent” (Gaul’s foreign-language Oscar candidate) starring Gaspard Ulliel as the famed French designer, “Goodbye to Language,” which won Cannes’ jury prize (shared with Xavier Dolan’s “Mommy”), “Sils Maria,” “Bird People” and “Timbuktu.”

The second Delluc prize will honor the best directorial debut among six films, including Thomas Cailley’s “Love at First Fight,” which premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight and won four kudos, and “Party Girl” by Marie Amachoukeli, Claire Burger et Samuel Theis, winner of Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Ensemble prize and the Camera d’Or award. Other lesser-known feature debuts selected are Virgil Vernier’s “Merculiales,”Mati Diop’s “Mille Soleils,” Gilles Deroo and Marianne Pistone’s “Mouton” and Guillaume Brac’s “Tonnerre.”

Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” won last year’s Louis Delluc Prize.

The Louis Delluc jury will unveil the winners on Dec. 15 in Paris.