Roman Polanski Hustled Away From Questions About Polish Film Festival Appearance

10:10 AM PST 09/13/2013 by Kirill Galetski
Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images
Roman Polanski

The director leads a master class for film students but remains silent about why he decided to risk arrest and extradition to the U.S. with his trip to the event.

Roman Polanski refused to respond to questions about why he decided to risk arrest and possible extradition to the U.S. by attending the 38th Gdynia Film Festival in Poland on Friday.

Polanski, who is understood to have arrived late Thursday night, gave a master class to film school students Friday afternoon at the Baltic seaside resort that is home to Poland's national film showcase and was due to attend a high-security, invitation-only screening of his film Venus in Fur on Friday night.

The director declined to comment to The Hollywood Reporter Friday after his invitation-only master class, which security guards prevented members of the press or public from entering.

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As he was being hustled into a black luxury car, THR asked Polanski about his decision to come to Poland but a woman waved away our reporter, yelling "Goodbye, goodbye!"

In the class, conducted in Polish, Polanski talked about the process of going from script to screen, according to a student who attended.

None of the students asked him about his return to Poland, but Polanski did reveal some of his favorite recent films: There Will Be Blood and the Polish film Suicide Room.

Festival officials were keeping a low profile Friday and did not return calls requesting comment on Polanski's presence.

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The director fled the U.S. in 1977 before being sentenced after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He remains subject to an international arrest warrant and extradition on charges that he raped her.

Polanski was born in France and is a French citizen but is of Polish descent. He studied film at the country's famous Lodz film school.

Four years ago he was arrested when he visited the Zurich Film Festival in Switzerland. He was held under house arrest at his chalet in the skiing resort of Gstaad while U.S. authorities attempted to secure his extradition but released after they failed to do so.

Polanski was last in Poland for a friend's funeral several years ago.

Nick Holdsworth contributed to this article.

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