Magazine article Screen International

Roman Polanski to Preside over French Césars

Magazine article Screen International

Roman Polanski to Preside over French Césars

Article excerpt

French-Polish director Roman Polanski will preside over the 42nd edition of the French Césars on Feb 24, France's Academy of Cinema Arts and Sciences has announced.

"Insatiable aesthete, Roman Polanski has reinvented his art and work over the years," academy president Alain Terzian said in a statement.

"Artist, cineaste, producer, screenwriter, actor, director, there are many words that define Roman Polanski but only one to express our admiration and enchantment: thank you."

However, the decision to honour Polanski has sparked protest from some quarters in France due to the 1977 charge that he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl, who was modelling for him on a Vogue magazine shoot in Los Angeles.

News of his César presidency prompted a wave of social media postings protesting that Polanski should be honoured in this way given the rape charge, regardless of the greatness of his art.

Polanski, who pleaded guilty to the charge as part of a plea bargain, fled the US when he learned the judge was going to disregard the plea bargain and sentence him to a lengthy spell in jail.

He has since publicly apologised to the victim saying he regretted the incident but remains subject to an extradition request from the US and is unable to visit the country or territories which might uphold the request. …

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