Jury member boycotts Zurich Film Fest

Henning Molfenter protests against Polanski arrest

COLOGNE, Germany -- Studio Babelsberg producer Henning Molfenter, scheduled to attend the Zurich Film Festival as a member jury judging German-language films, is boycotting the festival to protest Saturday's arrest of director Roman Polanski.

Fellow jury members -- actor Til Schweiger and composer Niki Reiser -- are expected to follow suit.

"There is no way I'd go to Switzerland now. You can't watch films knowing Roman Polanski is sitting in a cell 5 km away," Molfenter told The Hollywood Reporter.

Zurich's international jury -- headed by actress Debra Winger -- will make a statement on Polanski's arrest at 12:30 p.m. local time.

Swiss police arrested the 76-year-old Polanski on Saturday night as he entered Switzerland to attend the Zurich festival. He is being held on a U.S. warrant connected to a decades-old charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Studio Babelsberg is a co-producer on Polanski's latest, the thriller "The Ghost" based on the Robert Harris' best-seller and starring Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan and Kim Cattrall. Polanski had finished principle photography in Babelsberg and was back in Paris, deep into post, when he left for Zurich.

Molfenter said Polanski had already finished a rough cut of the film. Molfenter and the other "Ghost" producers, which include Robert Benmussa, Timothy Burrill and Alain Sarde along with Babelsberg co-heads Christoph Fisser and Charlie Woebcken, will confer Monday and decide how to proceed on the project. Production companies on the film are Summit International and Britain's Runteam together with Studio Babelsberg.
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