The entire board of the ‘French Oscars’ stops two weeks earlier than the gala ceremony after indignation about the nomination for the Roman Polanski prize
- Polanski’s film An Officer And A Spy wins award-winning nominations at the Cesar Awards
- The Cesar Academy is confronted with anger from women’s groups and film critics
- Polanski has been wanted in the US since 1978 because of the legal rape of 13-year-olds
The entire board of the ‘French Oscars’ resigned just two weeks before the gala ceremony in the midst of an angry argument over the recording of Roman Polanski.
The Cesar Academy came under fire after Polanski’s new film An Officer And A Spy topped the list of nominations.
Polanski has been wanted in the US since 1978 because of the legal rape of a 13-year-old girl and is avoided in Hollywood.
He launched the new film in France last year, just a few days after a French actress accused him of raping her during a skiing holiday in 1975, when she was 18.
Roman Polanski (photo) has been wanted in the US since 1978 for the legal rape of a 13-year-old girl and is avoided in Hollywood
“To honor those men and women who made cinema happen in 2019, to find calm and to ensure that the film festival remains exactly that, a festival, the board unanimously decided to resign,” said the Cesar Academy in a statement.
“This collective decision allows the board to be completely renewed,” it added.
The inclusion of Polanski’s film on the shortlist of the Cesars has been condemned by the French minister of equality, women’s groups and film critics.
A number of feminist groups have urged Cesar voters to ignore Polanski’s film, which is about the Dreyfus affair of the 1890s.
“When we mobilize, things happen!” Said feminist collective Nous Toutes in the midst of calls for a protest outside the Paris auditorium.
Another group, Osez Le Feminisme, said: ‘Imagine what the future offers. A new voting panel without male self-confidence, opacity and sexism.
“Shall we finally stop applauding rapists and pedophiles on the run?”
The Cesar Academy said that ‘moral views’ could not be expected when evaluating films.
More than 200 actors, producers, directors and film personalities had denounced the ‘dysfunction’ at the academy on Wednesday in an open letter.
A Cesar Award trophy is shown in Paris last month. The entire board of the academy has now resigned
They also complained that the statutes of the Cesars had not changed in a long time and that the nearly 5,000 members of the Academy had no control.
The Cesar Academy said it would ask the government-supported National Center for Cinema to appoint a mediator to oversee the “deep reform.”
The academy had previously announced measures to encourage female representation in its membership and representation.
The ceremony takes place on February 28 in Paris.
Polanski, now 86, fled the United States after being found guilty in 1977 of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.
His history has been re-examined since the start of the # MeToo movement against sexual harassment in 2017.
Last year a French actress accused him of raping her in 1975 during a skiing holiday in Gstaad, Switzerland. He denies this.
Polanski was banned in 2018 from the Hollywood or Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars.