[Ed's note: The following petition, designed to gain the release of jailed director Roman Polanski, has been signed by the following artists: Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Jean-Jacques Annaud, Monica Bellucci, Luc et Jean-Pierre Dardenne,
Jonathan Demme, Costa Gavras, Terry Gilliam, Wong Kar Waï, Jan Kounen, Emir
Kusturica, John Landis, David Lynch, Tonie Marshall, Jeanne
Moreau, Yasmina Reza, Barbet Schroeder, Martin Scorsese, Tilda
Swinton... among others.]
We have learned the astonishing news of Roman Polanski's arrest by the Swiss
police on September 26th, upon arrival in Zurich (Switzerland) while on his way
to a film festival where he was due to receive an award for his career in
His arrest follows an American arrest warrant dating from
1978 against the filmmaker, in a case of morals.
Filmmakers in France, in
Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision.
It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying
homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by the police to
By their extraterritorial nature, film festivals the world
over have always permitted works to be shown and for filmmakers to present them
freely and safely, even when certain States opposed this.
The arrest of
Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without
hindrance, undermines this tradition: it opens the way for actions of which
no-one can know the effects.
Roman Polanski is a French citizen, a renown
and international artist now facing extradition. This extradition, if it takes
place, will be heavy in consequences and will take away his
Filmmakers, actors, producers and technicians - everyone
involved in international filmmaking - want him to know that he has their
support and friendship.
On September 16th, 2009, Mr. Charles Rivkin, the
US Ambassador to France, received French artists and intellectuals at the
embassy. He presented to them the new Minister Counselor for Public Affairs at
the embassy, Ms Judith Baroody. In perfect French she lauded the Franco-American
friendship and recommended the development of cultural relations between our two
If only in the name of this friendship between our two
countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski.