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, of renown and an international artist now facing extradition. If the extradition takes place, it will take away his freedom.
Artists who have signed one of two “Free Roman Polanski” petitions going round — one being organized in the U.S.A. and another in Europe by French philosopher Bernard Henri-Levy — include Woody Allen, Pedro Almodovar, Martin Scorsese, Monica Bellucci, Tilda Swinton, David Lynch, Jonathan Demme, John Landis, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Wim Wenders, Pedro Almodovar, Asia Argento, Terry Gilliam, Wong Kar Wai, Darren Aronofsky, Michael Mann, Julian Schnabel, Tom Tykwer, Salman Rushdie, Milan Kundera, Pascal Bruckner, Neil Jordan, Isabelle Adjani, Arielle Dombasle, Isabelle Huppert, William Shawcross, Yamina Benguigui, Mike Nichols, Diane von Furstenberg, Claude Lanzmann and Paul Auster.