French Film Academy Sets New Leadership After Early 2020 Membership Backlash & César Awards Controversy

Following a backlash within its membership ranks and the resignation of its board of directors and president earlier this year, France’s Académie des Arts et Techniques du Cinéma has set new leadership. At a general assembly today, the Académie, which hands out the country’s César Awards, elected former CNC and Arte chief Véronique Cayla as president and Intouchables co-director Éric Toledano as vice president. They will hold their positions for a two-year term.

The duo replaces Margaret Menegoz who was interim president following Alain Terzian’s departure in February. Terzian left amid rising controversy in the wake of this year’s César nominations which had Roman Polanski’s An Officer And A Spy in the lead at 12. The film ultimately won three prizes at the protested ceremony.

Prior to the awards, the film org was called into question as “elitist and closed” by some 200 artists who said they had “no voice” in how the organization operates. They called for “an in-depth overhaul” of the modes of governance of the Association for the Promotion of Cinema which manages the Académie “and of the democratic operations that govern them.” At the time, the organization said it was undertaking measures to “modernize” the Césars and making efforts to balance the voting body which was then 65% male.

Cayla and Toledano thanked members today, saying they are “committed to inventing, with each of them, a new model for the Césars, one which is collective, imaginative, modern, imbued with cinema but also adapted to current sanitary constraints.” They also expressed their intent to continue work begun by Menegoz “by rigorously meeting the expectations of parity, transparency diversity and democracy.”

The Académie further today voted 42 representatives to the 21 branches that will, along with Cayla and Toledano, make up the new board (see below).

Marina Fois, Antoine Reinartz – Acting Branch
Pascale Ferran, Cédric Klapisch – Directing Branch
Olivier Gorce, Julier Peyr – Writing Branch
Gréco Casadesus, Marie Sabbah – Music Branch
Catherine Boisgontier, Pierre-Yves Gayraud – Costume Branch
Chloé CAMBOURNAC – Laurent TESSEYRE dans la branche des décors,
Bertrand Collard, Sophie Reine – Editing Branch
Yves Cape, Jeanne Lapoirie – Cinematography Branch
Lucien Balibar, Claudine Nougaret – Sound Branch
Chantal Leothier, Christophe Oliveira – Hair & Make-Up Branch
Roxane Fechner, Matthias Weber – Special Effects Branch
Nathalie Chéron, Daniel Delume – Other Technical Branch
Alain Attal, Marie-Ange Luciani – Producing Branch
Sébastien Cauchon, Elisabeth Tanner – Agents & Publicity Branch
Danièla Eltsner, Alexandre Mallet-Guy – Distribution & Exhibition Branch
Christine Beauchemin-Flot, Richard Patry – Theatrical Exhibition Branch
Marc Du Pontavice, Pascale Faure – Animation Branch
Rebecca Houzel, William Jéhannin – Documentary Branch
Justin Pechberty, Pauline Seigland – Short Films Branch
Didier Diaz, Sophie Frilley – Technical Industries Branch
Frédérique Bredin, Vincent Tolédano – Associated Professions Branch

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