The whole board of the Cesar Academy, which awards France‘s equal of the Oscars, resigned Thursday simply two weeks earlier than its gala ceremony after greater than 200 actors, producers, administrators and film personalities demanded “profound reform”.
The academy had come beneath hearth after director Roman Polanski‘s new movie An Officer and a Spy topped the listing of nominations for this yr’s Cesar awards, which will likely be handed out on February 28.
Polanski has been needed within the US for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old lady since 1978 and is persona non grata in Hollywood.
“To honour those men and women who made cinema happen in 2019, to find calm and ensure that the festival of film remains just that, a festival, the board… has unanimously decided to resign,” the academy mentioned in a press release.
“This collective decision will allow complete renewal of the board,” it added.
A normal assembly will likely be held after the upcoming awards ceremony to elect a brand new board and administration who will work on implementing reforms and modernisation, it mentioned.
More than 200 actors, producers, administrators and film personalities denounced the “dysfunction” on the academy and “opaqueness” in its accounts, in an open letter on Wednesday.
They additionally complained that the founding statutes of the Cesars had not modified in a very long time and that the academy’s nearly 5,000 members don’t get a vote or a say in its selections.
The academy’s board in response mentioned it might ask the National Centre for Cinema, a tradition ministry company, to nominate a mediator to supervise “deep reform” of its statutes and governance.
The academy had beforehand introduced measures to spice up feminine illustration in its membership and illustration.
The inclusion of Polanski’s movie on the Cesars’ shortlist was condemned by France’s equality minister, ladies’s teams and movie critics, however the Cesar Academy mentioned it couldn’t be anticipated to take “moral positions” when evaluating movies.
Quite a few French feminist teams have urged Cesar voters to snub Polanski’s movie, titled J’accuse in France and referred to as for a protest outdoors the award ceremony, which is to be held in Paris’ Salle Pleyel auditorium.
“When we mobilise, things happen!”, feminist collective Nous Toutes (All Of Us) wrote on Twitter.
Another group, Osez Le Feminisme (Dare Feminism), mentioned: “Imagine what’s next. A new voting panel without male self-confidence, opacity and sexism. Will we finally stop applauding rapists and paedophiles on the run?”