France’s César Academy has bolstered fledgeling protocols governing how the body deals with people under judicial investigation for violent crimes.
The rules were first introduced last year after it emerged that actor Sofiane Bennacer, who was due to be feted as one of the 2023 César revelations, was under investigation over allegations of rape and sexual assault.
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In a communiqué released on the eve its nominations announcement in Paris on Wednesday (Jan 24), the Academy said it was extending and expanding the measures to all its initiatives throughout 2024.
The body said the decision was based on the reflections of a working group which consulted various personalities in the first half of 2023, and then presented its report to the Academy’s Chamber of Representatives.
“The consensus emerged that in the event of an indictment or legal conviction of a participant in an eligible film for acts of violence, particularly of a sexist or sexual nature, the person implicated should not be celebrated in any way,” said the Academy.
It added the measure would last for the duration of the criminal proceedings and would apply to all César initiatives, spanning César & Techniques, the Revelations, César & Production, the High School Students César and the Nuits en Or.
“Without prejudice to the presumption of innocence, the person indicted or convicted will not be invited to any of these events organized by the Association,” the Academy said.
The body also detailed what would happen if the two rounds of voting resulted in Academy members voting to give a César to a person who was the subject of legal indictment.
It said there would be no on-stage presentation of the prize or speech by or on behalf of the winner, or press coverage or promotion by the César communication team.
The César Academy said it would continue to evaluate and reflect on the new protocols after this year’s ceremony to assess how they should evolve.
The 49th César awards the ceremony takes place in Paris on February 23.
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