Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, Terry Gilliam, Many More Sign Petition to Free Roman Polanski

October 1, 2009  |  10:15am
Over 110 top Hollywood figures are now in protest of director Roman Polanski's arrest in Switzerland Saturday, as evidenced by an online petition.

French film organization SACD launched the petition two days after news sources announced Polanski's arrest. Names of U.S. directors Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and David Lynch now join that of Pedro Almodovar, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam and Gael Garcia Bernal.  "If only in the name of this friendship between our two countries, we demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski," the petition says on behalf of the undersigned.

Polanski, the mind behind Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist, had arrived in Switzerland to accept a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival. As previously reported, Swiss police arrested him at Zurich's Kloten Airport while acting on an 31-year-old outstanding arrest warrant. The crime: drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl at Jack Nicholson's Mulholland Drive residence.

"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 petition says. "The arrest of Roman Polanski in a neutral country, where he assumed he could travel without hindrance, undermines this tradition."

Related links:
A/V: Live from Dragon*Con 2009: An Interview With Terry Gilliam
News: NYU Student Swaps Woody Allen's Manhattan for Brooklyn, Keeps the Gershwin
Review: Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired

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