The Cesars of French cinema prohibit anyone from being investigated for sex crimes | Movies

The Césars, France’s most prestigious film awards, have announced that anyone under investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct will be barred from their ceremony next month.

Protests were feared at the February 25 event after it was revealed that rising star Sofiane Bennacer was under police investigation into two allegations of rape and one of violence.

Bennacer, 25, who denies any wrongdoing, had been considered a frontrunner for his role in The Almond Trees (Forever Young) about a group of sexually promiscuous drama students in the 1980s.

The César decision – France’s equivalent of the Oscars – also follows protests at the 2020 ceremony when Roman Polanski, convicted of raping a child in the 1970s, won the award for best director, which which triggered a major reorganization of the Académie des César.

In a statement, the Academy said anyone facing a prison sentence for “violence, including of a (a) sexual or gender-based nature” would be barred from the upcoming ceremony.

“It was decided not to implicate the people likely to have been implicated by justice for acts of violence”, he specified, specifying that the approach was taken “out of respect for the victims “, even if they were only “presumed victims”.

Bennacer was dropped from the long list of potential candidates in November after new allegations surfaced in the media.

Almond Trees manager Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi denounced the allegations against Bennacer as “a media lynching”.

She said on Instagram that the film’s producers were aware of the allegations against him during casting, “but I told them that those rumors wouldn’t stop me and that I couldn’t consider doing the film without him.” .

His famous sister, singer and former French first lady Carla Bruni, said Bennacer’s treatment undermined the presumption of innocence, “one of the foundations of our democracy”.

The Cesar Academy said it is still debating whether people with sexual misconduct allegations and convictions should be excluded entirely from future nominations and awards, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.

theguardian Gt

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