Governing body of French Oscars resigns amid controversy around Roman Polanski's film's nomination

WION Web Team New Delhi Feb 14, 2020, 08.26 PM(IST)

Image of Roman Polanski Photograph:( Twitter )

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The entire board has now resigned, two weeks before the gala ceremony due to the growing controversy around Polanski's film 'An Officer and A Spy' that has received 12 nominations this year. 

Roman Polanski may have received multiple nominations at the French Oscars- César awards- but his inclusion hasn't gone down well with the board that's behind this annual awards- considered the most prestigious in France. 

The entire board has now resigned, two weeks before the gala ceremony due to the growing controversy around Polanski's film 'An Officer and A Spy' that has received 12 nominations this year. 

Earlier in an open letter that was published on Wednesday, more than 400 actors, producers, directors and film personalities had demanded the “profound reform” of the César academy, denouncing its dysfunction and the opaqueness of its processes.

On Thursday the academy said, "To honour those men and women who made cinema happen in 2019, to find calm and ensure that the festival of the film remains just that, a festival, the board ... has unanimously decided to resign. This collective decision will allow the complete renewal of the board.”

The academy been under intense criticism ever since Polanski’s film about Alfred Dreyfus, the Jewish French army officer accused of spying for Germany and unjustly convicted of treason in the 1890s, garnered 12 nominations for the awards. The ceremony is scheduled to take place February 28. 

Polanski fled America in 1978 after admitting to being accussed of raping a 13-year-old girl. Since then he has been a fugitive of  the US justice system. 

The inclusion of his film – titled 'J’accuse' in France – on the Césars’ shortlist was condemned by France’s equality minister, women’s groups and film critics alike.

Polanski was expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018 and launched his new film in France in 2019 just days after a French photographer, Valentine Monnier, accused him of raping her in a Swiss ski resort when she was a teenager which the filmmaker denied. 

His film, as a result, faced sever backlash in France and some of the screenings were also cancelled.