Entire ‘French Oscars’ board resigns over Polanski film row

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The whole board of the Cesar Awards, France’s Oscars equal, has resigned en masse after weeks of controversy over Roman Polanski’s new film which obtained probably the most nominations.

The resignations come simply two weeks earlier than the awards, which can function 12 nominations for An Officer And A Spy, Polanski’s film a few Jewish French officer accused of spying for Germany within the 1890s.

“To honour 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 film academy stated in an announcement.

A poster for J'accuse displayed on a cinema in Paris
Image: A poster for J’accuse displayed on a cinema in Paris

Polanski launched his new film in France final yr, simply days after a French actress accused him of getting raped her in 1975, when she was 18, throughout a ski vacation in Gstaad, Switzerland.

Polanski, now 86, has denied the accusation.

The French-Polish director fled the United States after pleading responsible in 1977 to having illegal intercourse with a
13-year-old woman in Los Angeles.

An Officer And A Spy, J’Accuse in French, is predicated on Robert Harris’s novel of the identical title and stars a French solid which incorporates Oscar-winner Jean Dujardin and Emmanuelle Seigner, who’s married to Polanski.

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Feminist teams have known as for a boycott of the film and the academy’s “opaqueness” has been criticised in an open letter signed by administrators and actors together with Dujardin’s The Artist co-star Berenice Bejo and X-Men’s Omar Sy.

Accusations in opposition to Polanski predate the sexual harassment scandal that embroiled Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein in 2017.

Polanski (L) with the producer and cast of his film
Image: Polanski (L) with the producer and solid of his film

But Polanski’s historical past got here below renewed scrutiny because the #MeToo motion in opposition to sexual abuse and harassment grew in response to the allegations in opposition to Weinstein, who’s on trial for rape and sexual assault in New York.

Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.