César Awards: Roman Polanski Wins Spark Strong Reaction; Adèle Haenel Exits Ceremony

By Canadian Press	
	 		Top nominee Polanski to skip French Oscars after rape claim				Feb 27 2020

By Canadian Press Top nominee Polanski to skip French Oscars after rape claim Feb 27 2020

There were dramatic scenes at the Cesar Awards this weekend when a controversial win for Roman Polanski prompted protests and walk-outs.

Polanski, 86, whose film An Officer And A Spy also picked up two other awards, was not at the event on Friday evening, saying earlier that he feared for his and his family's safety.

At the announcement of Polanski's award as best director, boos emerged from the public composed of film teams and cinema professionals.

His win was met with protests immediately as some angry fans outside the venue held up signs demanding justice and more than a handful of celebrities at the ceremony got up and walked out including popular actress Adele Haenel, who has said she was sexually abused by a director between the ages of 12 and 15.

It's unclear what long-term ramifications the Cesar Awards might have for the French Film community.

Polanski won the prize for best adapted screenplay.

The host took several jabs at the film during the ceremony, asking the audience not to applaud when she listed its nomination.

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In the same week that disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and a criminal sexual act, Polanski's film leads the nominations at France's equivalent of the Oscars.

"Distinguishing Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims".

France's Culture Minister Franck Riester called for the academy to operate democratically and Minister for Equality Marlene Schiappa also condemned the decision to nominate Polanski's movie. "It means raping women isn't that bad", she added.

As the ceremony unfolded, protesters outside clashed with police as they tried to enter the building. "Their word is denied", Celine Piques of women's activist group Osez le Feminisme said.

The Polish-French director fled the U.S. after his rape conviction in the 1970s.

Polanski denied it, and the allegations are too old for an investigation, but the accusation put the director under fresh scrutiny in France, where he has always been revered as one of the country's premier filmmakers despite the outstanding rape charge in the US.

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