A group of about 40 protesters blocked the entrance to a premiere of Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy (J’Accuse) on Tuesday night in Paris, ultimately resulting in the screening’s cancellation. France Info reports that the group, dressed all in black and equipped with red smoke-generating canisters and placards bearing the names of women who have accused the director of rape, demonstrated for about an hour in front of the Le Champo cinema in the 5th arrondissement before the theater pulled the show.
Elsewhere in the capital on Tuesday night, the official premiere was held at the UGC Normandie cinema on the Champs-Elysées. Polanski was in attendance, and, according to a report from BFMTV, the screening did not encounter similar protests.
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Polanski was recently accused by a French photographer, Valentine Monnier, of raping her at his Swiss chalet in 1975. He has denied the allegations through his attorney. The Oscar winner has been living in France since fleeing the U.S. in 1978 before sentencing after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
His Dreyfus Affair drama, An Officer And A Spy, is due for French release today via Gaumont. The protesters on Tuesday night reportedly called for a boycott of the film.
An Officer And A Spy premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year where it won the Grand Jury Prize. Last week, the movie was nominated for four European Film Awards.
Earlier this week, An Officer And A Spy star, Jean Dujardin, who is nominated for Best European Actor at the EFAs, cancelled an interview with leading French broadcaster TF1, reportedly saying he did not want to answer questions regarding new accusations against Polanski.
Also on Tuesday, though without mentioning Polanski by name, French film industry association, ARP, released a statement saying it “strongly supports all victims of moral and sexual violence” and that it “must take into account that our professions, by the power they confer, can open the door to reprehensible excesses.”
The statement continued, that ARP “will propose to the next board of directors that, henceforth, any member found guilty of a sexual offense be excluded and that any member indicted for the same reason be suspended.” Polanski is currently a member of the organization.
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