Reprinted from Variety by Elsa Keslassy on February 13, 2020.
The board overseeing the Cesar Academy, which distributes France’s equivalent of the Oscars, has revealed that it will resign following the Cesar Awards ceremony on February 28. As a result, Alain Terzian, a French producer who presides both the Cesar Academy and the Association for the Promotion of Cinema, is also expected to resign. Other members who will resign include Danièle Thompson, Philippe Labor, Margaret Menegov and the former Cannes president Gilles Jacob.
The shock announcement by the 21-member board of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema – the organization overseeing the Cesar Academy – comes on the heels of industry-wide backlash following 12 Cesar nominations for Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy. The Cesar’s were also heavily criticised for shutting out feminist personalities such as director Claire Denis and author Virginie Despentes from one of recent gala events preceding the ceremony.
The decision also comes just days after the Cesar Academy vowed to reform its operating model and corporate leadership with the help of a mediator. In a statement, the board said it had taken this measure “to honor all those who made (French) cinema in 2019, and to gain back some serenity and ensure that the celebration of cinema remains a celebration.” …