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The entire board of the French Oscars, the Cesar Academy, resigned after a reaction due to Roman Polanski’s film nominations and demands for reform.
To Roman Polanski Officer and spy
swept the nomination list for the Cesar Awards, provoking calls for a boycott.
The director is wanted in the United States for the legal rape of a 13-year-old girl from the 1970s.
Hundreds of actors, producers and directors have also called for change.
In an open letter this week, they condemned the “dysfunction” at the Cesar Academy and the lack of transparency in its management.
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In a statement issued on February 13, the César academy said the board had “unanimously decided to resign” to “honor those men and women who made cinema happen in 2019, find peace and ensure that the festival the film remains just that, a festival. ”
The statement adds: “This collective decision will allow a complete renewal of the board.”
After the ceremony, a general meeting will be held this month to elect a new council to review the implementation of reforms and the modernization of the academy.
French Culture Minister Frank Rister said the academy should work democratically, in a spirit of “openness, transparency, parity and diversity”.
The César Academy has faced controversy in recent months.
Many called for a boycott when Roman Polanski’s film Officer and spy, or I accuse in French, received 12 award nominations. The director fled the United States after being convicted of rape in the 1970s and has since faced other charges of assault.
The French Minister of Equality and film critics also condemned the decision to nominate the film to the Polish-French director.
However, the Cesars defended the nominations, arguing that the body “should not take moral positions” in the distribution of awards.
In an open letter this week, hundreds of film professionals, including actors and directors, called for “deep reform” at the academy.
They complained about the lack of democracy in the institution and said that the founding statutes of the Caesars had not changed “for a very long time.”
In response, the board said it would ask for a mediator to be appointed by an agency of the culture ministry to oversee reforms to its statute and governance.
It is not the first time that the Caesars have encountered controversy over Roman Polanski. In 2017, the director was chosen to head the jury of the award, but resigned after the move caused outrage.