Roman Polanski Cancels Locarno Festival Visit Following Pressure

Roman Polanski Dreyfus Affair
ndreas Rentz/Getty Images

Controversial film director, Roman Polanski has cancelled a planned visit to the ongoing Locarno Film Festival, where he was this week due to receive a prize.

Polanski, who won a best director Oscar in 2003 for “The Pianist” was to have received a lifetime achievement honor, given a masterclass and presented his latest film “Venus In Fur.”

Convicted for sex offences in the U.S in 1977, but a fugitive from the U.S. justice system ever since, Polanski admitted that his visit to the festival could stoke “controversies.”

“Dear Friends, I am sorry to inform you that having considered the extent to which my planned appearance at the Locarno Festival provokes tensions and controversies among those opposed to my visit, even as I respect their opinions, it is with a heavy heart that I must cancel my visit. I am deeply saddened to disappoint you,” Polanski wrote in a letter to the festival.

The Swiss festival described his cancellation as “a setback” and said that “the public will thereby be deprived of an important opportunity for cultural enrichment.” It added that it “continues to affirm its commitment to the principle of free and unfettered artistic expression.”

Polanski, 80, who is based in France, has avoided the U.S. for decades. But his case was highlighted recently at the United Nations-backed summit meeting World Day Against Trafficking in Persons held in Beverly Hills.

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  1. mnclaes says:

    Roman Polanski served time in the California prison system. He went for court-ordered treatment. He was prepared to face the judge who had agreed to terms for a final sentence, but then made it clear that he would break the agreement and put Polanski — who was prepared to follow the agreement — at risk for an unknown outcome. Only then did Polanski leave the country. The judge was removed from the case and censured.


  2. Suzanna says:

    They should remove that comma after director and put after Pianist where it belongs.

  3. Glenn C. says:

    Great Director. Loved The Ghost Writer.
    “Those of you who have not sinned cast the first stone”. Meaning you TONY on this list!

  4. Diane says:

    The Film industry, and the music industry chooses to forgive people for what they do or did even if it’s molesting an under age child. If your famous enough you can get away with it. Roman Polanski ran away so he wouldn’t have to go to jail, yet he keeps getting awards in Europe. It’s a sad commentary on our world.

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