Partly for the crime of handing out 12 Cesar nominations to Roman Polanski‘s An Officer and a Spy, and partly for insufficient nursing of political ties with feminist or #MeToo-supporting filmmakers, the Cesar Academy has announced its intention to resign following the 45th Cesar Award telecast on 2.28.
Variety excerpt: “In recent weeks, the Cesar Awards have been faced with mounting pressure within the French film industry and threats of a boycott. Many industry executives have highlighted a lack of gender parity, diversity and transparency within the Cesar’s voting body, as well as within the academy itself. [On top of which] Alain Terzian, a French producer who presides both the Association for the Promotion of Cinema and the Cesar Academy, is also expected to resign.”
Translation: The French film industry’s new guard has banded together to throw out the old guard over sensitivity and gender equality issues — i.e., being blind to or resisting present-day values. Or, put another way, a failure to (a) embrace woke-think and woke-speak and (b) to allow the industry to have more of a democratic participation in the organization.
Which is all well and good but don’t kid yourself — if it hadn’t been for the 12 nominations handed out to An Officer and a Spy, this shakeup probably wouldn’t have happened.
A petition to overhaul the awards, which was unveiled on Tuesday in the newspaper Le Monde, was signed by 400 industry notables including actors Lea Seydoux and Omar Sy, directors Michel Hazanavicius, Eric Toledano, Jacques Audiard, Arnaud Desplechin and Olivier Nakache, and producer Said Ben Said.
Petition excerpt: “The Cesar Academy comprises 4700 members…but as members, we don’t have a say when it comes to the functioning of the Academy…or the actual ceremony.”
Further translation of Le Monde petition: “The Cesar Academy’s failure to judge Polanski’s film according to political currents, as opposed to purely artistic criteria, requires harsh measures.”