Roman Polanski receives the Best Director award for 'Venus in Fur' on stage during the 39th Cesar Film Awards 2014Image copyright
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Polanski topped the nominations for this year’s César awards (file pic 2014)

The total board of the César Academy, which distributes France’s equivalent of the Oscars, has resigned amid a wave of criticism of its nomination for 12 awards for a movie by Roman Polanski.

The resolution to honour Polanski’s An Officer and a Understand has angered feminist groups and led to calls for a boycott.

The Polish-French director has been wanted within the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-stale girl since the 1970s.

Heaps of of actors, producers and directors comprise additionally usually known as for reform.

In an open letter this week, they denounced „dysfunction“ on the César Academy and opacity in its administration.

The César Academy’s resolution to step down en masse came as a shock earlier than the glittering 45th awards ceremony in Paris, which is to be held on 28 February.

In a commentary on Thursday night, the academy said the board had „unanimously made up our minds to resign“ to „honour those girls and men folks who made cinema occur in 2019, to get amassed and comprise obvious that that the festival of movie remains appropriate that, a festival“.

„This collective resolution will allow total renewal of the board,“ it added.

A fashioned meeting is determined to be held after this month’s ceremony to elect a fresh board, which is able to ascertain at imposing reforms and modernising the institution.

Tradition Minister Franck Riester said the César Academy must objective democratically, within the spirit of „openness, transparency, parity and range“.

What’s the background?

The César Academy has faced controversy in most up-to-date months.

Many known as for a boycott when Polanski’s movie An Officer and a Understand, or J’accuse in French, obtained 12 award nominations. The Polish-French director fled the US after pleading responsible to unlawful intercourse with a minor within the 1970s, and has since faced diversified accusations of sexual assault.

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Media captionSamantha Geimer used to be raped by Polanski when she used to be 13

„We’re in shock that Roman Polanski, who’s accused by several girls folks of paedophile rape crimes, is as soon as as soon as more hailed by French cinema,“ said Céline Piques, spokeswoman for French feminist organisation Osez le Féminisme (Dare to be Feminist).

France’s equality minister, Marlène Schiappa, additionally condemned the resolution to nominate Polanski’s movie.

Whereas praising the academy’s efforts to recognise France’s MeToo movement, Ms Schiappa said she realized it „not likely that a hall gets up and applauds the movie of a person accused of rape several instances“.

However the Césars defended the nominations, arguing that the physique „must amassed no longer purchase unprejudiced appropriate positions“ in giving awards.

Polanski himself told Paris Match in December that he had tried to distance himself from the calls for a boycott of his movie. „For years of us comprise tried to comprise me out as a monster. I’m liable to the slander and I’ve grown a thick skin, which is as laborious as a shell,“ he said.

Roman Polanski


I made a mistake in 1977 and it’s my household who’re paying the tag bigger than 50 years later

How the Césars are nominated

The academy, which numbers 4,680 cinema mavens, has additionally been criticised for being out of touch and dominated by older men. Handiest 35% of the individuals are girls folks and to be fragment of it it’s miles crucial to comprise had two sponsors and brought fragment in three films in five years.

All individuals who comprise paid their subscriptions (4,313 this year) abet a secret on-line vote to have which films desires to be nominated and then indirectly which must amassed comprise the awards. They’re divided into categories including actors, directors and technicians.

Alain Terzian, the academy’s president since 2003, used to be fêted for his films within the 1980s and 90s but he has reach in for criticism in most up-to-date months.

In an open letter this week, hundreds of movie mavens, including actors and directors, known as for „profound reform“ on the academy.

The signatories, who integrated principal figures in French cinema reminiscent of Bertrand Tavernier, Bérénice Bejo, Leïla Bekhti and Michel Hazanavicius, complained of a lack of democracy within the institution and said the founding statutes of the Césars had no longer changed „for a extraordinarily very lengthy time“.

In response, the academy’s board said it would ask for a mediator to be appointed by a tradition ministry company to oversee reforms of its statutes and governance.

It’s no longer the principal time the Césars comprise faced controversy. In 2017, Polanski used to be picked to switch the award’s jury, but stepped down after the switch sparked outrage.

No topic the controversy surrounding the movie, J’accuse used to be a box situation of commercial hit in France on the highest of 2019 and has accomplished effectively in numerous diversified European worldwide locations.

Polanski has French and Polish citizenship, and has refrained from diverse extradition attempts by US authorities.

France – the place he lives – doesn’t extradite its comprise electorate. A Polish court additionally rejected a US search data from when he used to be filming in Krakow in 2015.

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