Polanski arrest forces Cologne shuffle

Helmer scheduled to hold a workshop at confab this Friday

COLOGNE, Germany -- Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland this weekend has forced some last-minute schedule shuffling at media confab the Cologne Conference, which kicks off Wednesday.

Polanski was scheduled to hold a workshop in Cologne this Friday and receive the city of Cologne's Film Award Saturday evening.

But Polanski remains in custody in Zurich awaiting a decision on his extradition to the U.S. on a 30-year-old sex charge. So instead of the workshop, organizers plan to screen Marina Zenovich's documentary "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" (2008), which helped reveal possible misconduct in the original prosecution of Polanski in 1977 on charges of sexual molestation of a 13-year-old girl.

The Saturday evening awards ceremony will go ahead as planned, with Polanski receiving the Cologne Film Award, and its $22,000 cash bursary, in absentia. Organizers say they plan to repeat the ceremony in person with Polanski at a future date.

The 19th Cologne Conference, which runs Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, will also feature a comprehensive retrospective of all of Roman Polanski's films, from his early Polish-language shorts to Oscar-winner "The Pianist" (2002) and "Oliver Twist" (2005).
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