Polanski aborts visit to film school after protests

WARSAW • Director Roman Polanski aborted a visit planned for last Saturday to a film school in his native Poland after students objected to his presence because of rape allegations against him.

"At the request of Polanski, the meeting at the cinema school in Lodz has been cancelled," the school said in a brief statement.

The 86-year-old French-Polish director was at the Cinergia European Cinema Forum in Lodz on Friday where he received a "rebellious film-maker" award.

His latest movie, An Officer And A Spy, was also screened.

The school, which Polanski once attended, had earlier rejected an online petition for his visit to be axed as "inappropriate" .

The appeal, which had been signed by 116 people as of last Thursday, cited "at least five accusations" against him.

He pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor in California in 1977, in a plea deal after he was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl.

But he fled to the United States before sentencing and has maintained his career as a film-maker in Europe.

Earlier this month, French photographer Valentine Monnier accused Polanski of raping her in 1975 when she was 18, after beating her at his Swiss chalet.

The claim sparked protests at cinemas in France that were screening his new movie.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 02, 2019, with the headline 'Polanski aborts visit to film school after protests'. Print Edition | Subscribe