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Actresses walk out of ceremony after Roman Polanski wins best director for An Officer and a Spy

UK News

Roman Polanski won France‘s Cesar Award for best directing for his film ‘An Officer and a Spy’, prompting a walkout by several women in the audience in protest at honouring a man facing rape accusations. 

The ceremony took place in Paris on Friday amid protests by women’s rights activists as director Roman Polanski was awarded, in his absence, the best director award for his latest film.

Polanski decided to skip the Cesar awards ceremony because of protests by women’s groups denouncing the 12 nominations ‘An Officer and a Spy’ received after a French woman brought a new rape accusation against him.

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

Actress Adele Haenel, who recently denounced alleged sexual assault by another French director in the early 2000s when she was 15, got up and walked out of the room, followed by a few others. 

Actress Adele Haenel, who recently denounced alleged sexual assault by another French director in the early 2000s when she was 15, got up and walked out of the room, followed by a few others

Actress Adele Haenel, who recently denounced alleged sexual assault by another French director in the early 2000s when she was 15, got up and walked out of the room, followed by a few others

Actress Adele Haenel, who recently denounced alleged sexual assault by another French director in the early 2000s when she was 15, got up and walked out of the room, followed by a few others

Feminist activists gather next to the Cesar Film Awards Ceremony to protest against the nominations of Roman Polanski's film 'An officer and a spy'

Feminist activists gather next to the Cesar Film Awards Ceremony to protest against the nominations of Roman Polanski's film 'An officer and a spy'

Feminist activists gather next to the Cesar Film Awards Ceremony to protest against the nominations of Roman Polanski’s film ‘An officer and a spy’

Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a 'public lynching' and that he decided not to attend the ceremony to protect his colleagues and his wife and children

Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a 'public lynching' and that he decided not to attend the ceremony to protect his colleagues and his wife and children

Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a ‘public lynching’ and that he decided not to attend the ceremony to protect his colleagues and his wife and children

‘Distinguishing Polanski is spitting in the face of all victims. It means raping women isn’t that bad,’ Haenel told the New York Times earlier this week.

The film’s cast and production team, including best actor nominee Jean Dujardin, also declined to attend the ceremony. Dujardin posted a message on Instagram that said, ‘By making this film, I believed and I still believe I made more good than harm.’

Polanski’s film won two other awards for best costume design and best adaptation. No one came on stage to accept the trophies awarded to ‘An Officer and a Spy.’

The show’s host, comedian Florence Foresti, left Polanski’s film out of her opening remarks when she mentioned the ones with multiple nominations. 

Instead, Foresti referred to the 86-year-old director as ‘Atchoum,’ French for the Sneezy character in ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.’

‘I decided that Atchoum would not be big enough to overshadow the French cinema,’ she said.

The Cesar for best film has been awarded to ‘Les Miserables,’ Ladj Ly’s Oscar candidate, about tensions between police and minorities in a poor Paris suburb. The film won the Jury Price in Cannes Film Festival last year.

The entire male-dominated leadership of the Cesar stepped down recently amid disagreement over its decision-making structure and how to deal with the Polanski problem.

A few hundred protesters brandishing signs with phrases such as ‘Victims, we believe you’ and ‘No to impunity’ assembled outside the Salle Pleyel hall before the ceremony started. 

The group chanted, ‘We are here, we are here, even if Polanski doesn’t want to, we are here.’

‘By supporting the aggressors, by celebrating the aggressors, one does not allow the victims to speak out. Their word is denied,’ Celine Piques of women’s activist group Osez le Feminisme said

Feminist activists hold signs during a demonstration outside the Salle Pleyel in Paris as guests arrive for the 45th edition of the Cesar Film Awards ceremony on February 28

Feminist activists hold signs during a demonstration outside the Salle Pleyel in Paris as guests arrive for the 45th edition of the Cesar Film Awards ceremony on February 28

Feminist activists hold signs during a demonstration outside the Salle Pleyel in Paris as guests arrive for the 45th edition of the Cesar Film Awards ceremony on February 28

In a statement this week, the Paris-based Polanski said the ceremony was turning into a ‘public lynching’ and that he decided not to attend the ceremony to protect his colleagues and his wife and children.

Polanski is still wanted in the United States decades after he was charged with raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977. He pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor but fled the country on the eve of sentencing.

Last year, a woman came forward to accuse Polanski of raping her in 1975 in his Swiss chalet when she was 18. 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 long been revered as one of the country’s premier filmmakers despite the outstanding rape charge in the U.S. Other accusations have also emerged.

‘Is it normal for a man to rape and then 30 years later to be a star in popular cultures? No, it’s not normal, and a rapist should be in prison,’ another Osez le Feminisme activist, Fabienne El Khouri, said.

‘An Officer and a Spy’ is about the anti-Semitic persecution of French army Capt. Alfred Dreyfus and his wrongful treason conviction in the 1890s. It is among the best film nominees. Polanski has nominations for best adaptation and best director.

45th César Awards winners

BEST FILM

La Belle Époque − Directed by Nicolas Bedos

By the Grace of God − Directed by François Ozon

The Specials − Directed by Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

An Officer and a Spy − Directed by Roman Polanski

Les Misérables − Directed by Ladj Ly

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Directed by Céline Sciamma

Oh Mercy! − Directed by Arnaud Desplechin

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Auteuil − La Belle Époque 

Damien Bonnard − Les Misérables 

Vincent Cassel − The Specials

Jean Dujardin − An Officer and a Spy 

Reda Kateb − The Specials

Melvil Poupaud − By the Grace of God 

Roschdy Zem − Oh Mercy! 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Swann Arlaud − By the Grace of God 

Grégory Gadebois − An Officer and a Spy

Louis Garrel − An Officer and a Spy

Benjamin Lavernhe − Mon inconnue

Denis Ménochet − By the Grace of God 

 MOST PROMISING ACTOR

Alexis Maneti – Les Misérables 

Anthony Bajon − Au nom de la terre

Benjamin Lesieur − The Specials

Liam Pierron − La Vie scolaire

Djebril Zonga − Les Misérables 

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

La Belle Époque − Nicolas Bedos

By the Grace of God − François Ozon

The Specials − Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

Les Misérables − Ladj Ly

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Céline Sciamma

BEST FIRST FEATURE FILM

Atlantics − Mati Diop

Au nom de la terre − Édouard Bergeon

The Wolf’s Call − Antonin Baudry

Les Misérables − Ladj Ly

Papicha − Mounia Meddour

 BEST EDITING

By the Grace of God − Laure Gardette

An Officer and a Spy − Hervé de Luze

Les Misérables − Flora Volpelière

La Belle Époque − Anny Danché and Florent Vassault

The Specials − Dorian Rigal-Ansou

 BEST ORIGINAL MUSIC

Atlantics − Fatima Al Qadiri

An Officer and a Spy − Alexandre Desplat

Les Misérables − Marco Casanova and Kim Chapiron

I Lost My Body − Dan Levy

Oh Mercy! − Grégoire Hetzel

 BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN  

La Belle Époque – Stephane Rozenbaum

The Wolf’s Call − Benoît Barouh

Edmond − Franck Schwarz

An Officer and a Spy − Jean Rabasse

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Thomas Grézaud

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE FILM

The Bears’ Famous Invasion of Sicily − Lorenzo Mattotti

I Lost My Body − Jérémy Clapin

The Swallows of Kabul − Zabou Breitman and Éléa Gobbé-Mévellec

BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Ce magnifique gâteau ! − Marc James Roels and Emma de Swaef

Je sors acheter des cigarettes − Osman Cerfon

La nuit des sacs plastiques − Gabriel Harel

Make It Soul − Jean-Charles Mbotti Malolo

 BEST SHORT FILM

Beautiful Loser − Maxime Roy

Pile Poil − Lauriane Escaffre and Yvonnick Muller

Le Chant d’Ahmed − Foued Mansour

Le Chien bleu − Fanny Liatard

Nefta Football Club − Yves Piat

AUDIENCE AWARD

Qu’est-ce qu’on a encore fait au Bon Dieu ? – Philippe de Chauveron

Nous finirons ensemble – Guillaume Canet

The Specials – Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

Au nom de la terre – Édouard Bergeon

Les Misérables – Ladj Ly

 

 

BEST DIRECTOR

La Belle Époque − Nicolas Bedos

By the Grace of God − François Ozon

The Specials − Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

An Officer and a Spy − Roman Polanski

Les Misérables − Ladj Ly

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Céline Sciamma

Oh Mercy! − Arnaud Desplechin

 BEST ACTRESS

Anaïs Demoustier − Alice and the Mayor

Eva Green − Proxima

Adele Haenel − Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Noémie Merlant − Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Doria Tillier − La Belle Époque

Karin Viard − Chanson douce

Chiara Mastroianni − On a Magical Night

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Fanny Ardant − La Belle Époque

Josiane Balasko − By the Grace of God

Laure Calamy − Only the Animals

Sara Forestier − Oh Mercy!

Hélène Vincent − The Specials 

MOST PROMISING ACTRESS

Lyna Khoudri – Papicha

Luàna Bajrami − Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céleste Brunnquell − Les Éblouis

Nina Meurisse − Camille

Mame Bineta Sané − Atlantics 

BEST ADAPTATION

Adults in the Room − Costa-Gavras

An Officer and a Spy − Roman Polanski and Robert Harris

I Lost My Body − Jérémy Clapin et Guillaume Laurant 

Oh Mercy! − Arnaud Desplechin and Léa Mysius

Only the Animals − Dominik Moll and Gilles Marchand 

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

La Belle Époque − Nicolas Bolduc

An Officer and a Spy − Pawel Edelman

Les Misérables − Julien Poupard

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Claire Mathon

Oh Mercy! − Irina Lubtchansky

 BEST SOUND

La Belle Époque − Rémi Daru, Séverin Favriau and Jean-Paul Hurier

The Wolf’s Call − Nicolas Cantin, Thomas Desjonquères, Raphaëll Mouterde, Olivier Goinard and Randy Thom

An Officer and a Spy − Lucien Balibar, Aymeric Devoldère, Cyril Holtz and Niels Barletta

Les Misérables − Arnaud Lavaleix, Jérôme Gonthier and Marco Casanova

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Julien Sicart, Valérie de Loof and Daniel Sobrino

 BEST COSTUME DESIGN

An Officer and a Spy − Pascaline Chavanne 

La Belle Époque − Emmanuelle Youchnovski

Edmond − Thierry Delettre

Joan of Arc − Alexandra Charles

Portrait of a Lady on Fire − Dorothée Guiraud

BEST DOCUMENTARY FILM

68, mon Père − Samuel Bigiaoui

La Cordillère des songes − Patricio Guzmán

Lourdes − Thierry Demaizière and Alban Teurlai

M − Yolande Zauberman

Wonder boy Olivier Rousteing, né sous X − Anissa Bonnefont

BEST FOREIGN FILM

Pain and Glory (Spain) – Directed by Pedro Almodóvar

Young Ahmed (Belgium) – Directed by Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne

Joker (United States) – Directed by Todd Phillips

Lola (Belgium/France) – Directed by Laurent Micheli

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (United States) – Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Parasite (South Korea) – Directed by Bong Joon-ho

The Traitor (Italy/France/Germany/Brazil) – Directed by Marco Bellocchio

 

 

 

DailyMail Online


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