FILE PHOTO: Movie director Roman Polanski arrives on the Madeleine Church in Paris, France, December 9, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Picture
February 13, 2020
PARIS (Reuters) – The administration of the “French Oscars” resigned en masse on Thursday after weeks of controversy centered on director Roman Polanski, whose newest movie “An Officer and a Spy” leads nominations forward of the 2020 awards ceremony.
The resignations come simply two weeks earlier than the Cesar Awards, France’s equal of the Oscars, which featured 12 nominations for Polanski’s film about Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish French officer unfairly accused of spying for Germany within the 1890s.
“To honor those who made films in 2019, to regain serenity and make the cinema festival a celebration, the board of directors of the (film academy) made a unanimous decision to resign,” the French movie academy mentioned in a press release.
Feminist teams had decried the nominations and referred to as for a boycott of the movie. Dozens of movie trade personalities together with “X-Men” actor Omar Sy and Berenice Bejo of the 2011 movie “The Artist” – had denounced the academy’s “opaqueness” in an open letter.
Polanski launched his new movie in France final 12 months simply days after a French actress accused him of having raped her in 1975, when she was 18 years outdated, throughout a ski vacation in Gstaad, Switzerland.
Polanski, now 86, has denied the accusation.
The French-Polish director fled the US after pleading responsible in 1977 to having illegal intercourse with a 13-year-old lady in Los Angeles.
Accusations towards Polanski predate the sexual harassment scandal that embroiled Hollywood movie producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017. However Polanski’s historical past got here beneath renewed scrutiny because the #MeToo motion towards sexual abuse and harassment grew in response to the allegations towards Weinstein, who’s on trial for rape and sexual assault in New York.
Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences in 2018.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; enhancing by Jonathan Oatis)