Mass Resignation to Restore 'Calm' After Polanski Film Noms

All board members of France's Cesar Academy to resign after Polanski backlash
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 8:20 AM CST
Polanski Film Gets 12 Award Nods. Then, a Mass Exodus
In this May 2, 2018, file photo, director Roman Polanski appears at an international film festival in Krakow, Poland.   (AP Photo, file)

The equivalent of France's Academy Awards will be held later this month, and one film in particular has racked up a dozen nominations—and the controversy surrounding that fact has now led to a big move from the board that oversees the honors. The BBC reports that all 21 members on the board of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, which oversees the Cesar Academy that hands out the awards, have "unanimously decided to resign," per a board statement, "to find calm and ensure that the festival of film remains just that, a festival." What had threatened to disrupt that calm: the 12 nominations that director Roman Polanski had received for J'Accuse (An Officer and a Spy).

Polanski fled the United States in early 1978 after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl. The 86-year-old, who has both French and Polish citizenship, has been living in France, which doesn't extradite its own citizens. Per Variety, the Cesar Academy has been under the microscope of late, with hubbub not only directed at the Polanski film but at the organization's lack of diversity and gender parity. While Al Jazeera reports on the pushback the Polanski film and its nominations have been receiving from feminist groups, the Cesar Academy has noted that it shouldn't be taking "moral positions" on films or filmmakers when considering the merits of a particular movie. After the awards ceremony on Feb. 28, a general meeting will be scheduled so that a new board can be elected. (Read more Roman Polanski stories.)

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