Cinema – Before its next ceremony, the Académie des César dismisses the accused of “acts of violence”

The Académie des César has decided to withdraw, for its next ceremony, those accused of “acts of violence”, after the Sofiane Bennacer affair, a young actor revealed in The Almond Trees charged with rape.

“Out of respect for the victims (even presumed in the event of indictment or non-final conviction), it was decided not to highlight people who would be implicated by justice for acts of violence”, has the Academy said in a statement Monday.

Concretely, if one of the nominees is charged with acts of violence, in particular of a sexual or sexist nature, or convicted, he cannot be invited to the ceremony on February 25, nor to any of the events associated with it. “This withdrawal will also exclude any speaking ‘in the name of this person’ during these same events – including if a César were to be awarded to him after the second round of voting”, continues the Academy.

Bennacer case: his companion, director Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi, denounces a “media lynching”

This decision was taken for the 2023 ceremony, following the indictment at the end of November for rape and violence against the spouse of actor Sofiane Bennacer (who is not named in the Academy press release). The one who stood with The Almond Trees by Valeria Bruni-Tedeschi his first major role on screen had been retained in the list of thirty “revelations” of the Caesars, before being released urgently, when the legal proceedings against him were made public.

The Caesars had immediately considered modifying their rules. Work will take place in this direction in the first semester, “in the face of the magnitude and complexity of these questions, from a moral and legal point of view”.

For professionals of the 7th art, the accusations against Sofiane Bennacer had come to recall the memory of the Polanski affair, regularly overtaken by old accusations of sexual abuse, or even the indictments of actors like Gérard Depardieu or Ary Abittan for facts of rape, which they dispute.

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Cinema – Before its next ceremony, the Académie des César dismisses the accused of “acts of violence”