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Roman Polanski will serve as president of this year’s Cesar Awards ceremony, the French Academy announced Wednesday.
Academy president Alain Terzian called the director “an insatiable aesthetic,” in the announcement, citing his works Rosemary’s Baby and Chinatown as “masterpieces.”
Polanski is well beloved by the French Academy. He won the best director Cesar for Tess in 1980, The Pianist in 2002, The Ghost Writer in 2011 and Venus in Fur in 2014, and has collected a handful of best writing wins and other nominations through the years.
As president of the ceremony, Polanski will open the awards with a speech before handing over the reins to an as-yet-unnamed host for the skits and prizes.
“Artist, filmmaker, producer, screenwriter, actor, director — there are many words to define Roman Polanski, but only one to express our admiration and enchantment: Thank you, Mr. President,” Terzian added.
Polanski follows Claude Lelouch, who served as president last year.
The director, who has been wanted in the U.S. since he fled the country following a conviction of child rape in 1978, lives in France as it has no extradition treaty with the U.S. Poland joined the list of countries he can freely travel to in December 2016, after the supreme court there ruled it would not extradite the director from the country of his birth where he keeps an apartment. He holds dual citizenship in both countries.
Polanski is currently at work on Based on a True Story, co-written by Olivier Assayas and starring Eva Green, Emmanuelle Seigner and Vincent Perez.
The Cesar Awards will be held Feb. 24.
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