PARIS – Controversial French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski is set to preside at the 42nd edition of the Cesar Awards, France’s equivalent to the Oscars.
Although the honorary role of president entails hardly more than a speech introducing the ceremony, it underscores the French Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques’ unwavering admiration for Polanski.
“It’s no fewer than eight times that the Academy of Cinema Arts and Techniques has honored the director. An insatiable aesthete, Roman Polanski has been reinventing his arts and films through the years,” said the Cesar Awards in a statement.
“Artist, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, comedian, director – there are so many words to define Roman Polanski, but only one to express our admiration and delight: Thank you, Mr. President,” stated the Academy, which is headed by Alain Terzian, who is also a film producer.
In the U.S., where he won an Oscar for “The Pianist” in 2003, Polanski is still wanted by authorities for having sex with a minor, in a case dating back to 1977. A bid by the U.S. to have him extradited was recently rejected by Poland’s Supreme Court.
Polanski last won a best director Cesar for “Venus in Fur.” He’s currently working on “Based on a True Story,” a psychological thriller penned by Olivier Assayas (“Personal Shopper) and starring Emmanuelle Seigner and Eva Green. The film is produced by Wassim Beji and is being sold by Lionsgate.
The Cesar Awards will soon unveil nominations. The ceremony will take place in Paris on Feb. 24.