The administrative staff of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, which oversees the Académie des Arts et Technique du Cinéma, which is responsible for the César awards, resigned en masse.
After several weeks of controversy over the nomination of Roman Polanski's new film – J'Accuse – The Officer and the Spy – the administrative body of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, which oversees the Académie des Arts et Technique du Cinéma, responsible for the awards Caesar – the French equivalent of the Oscars – resigned.
Departures take place two weeks before the award ceremony. "To honor those who made films in 2019, to regain serenity and make this film festival a celebration, the panel of directors made the unanimous decision to resign," the French film academy said in a statement.
One of the reasons for discomfort is the situation of filmmaker Roman Polanski, accused of rape. Polanski's film is about a French Jewish officer who is accused of being a spy for Germany in the 1980s. The film is nominated for a total of 12 categories, more than the rest in the contest, which bothers feminists and opinion public.
The Franco-Polish director even fled the United States after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and serving a small prison sentence. Polanski was expelled from the Hollywood Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2018.
The resignation comes shortly after the publication of a note in Le Monde, in which about 400 French cinema personalities – including Omar Sy, Bertrand Tavernier, Michel Hazanavicius and Jacques Audiard – demand a “profound reform” at the Academy in the name of diversity and transparency.
Entities like Osez le féminisme! (“Dare feminism!”) Called for a demonstration in front of the Pleyel de Paris, where the César awards ceremony will take place, on February 28th.