Polanski cancels appearance at Polish film festival
Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski has cancelled an appearance at the Gdynia Film Festival in Poland saying he has changed his plans, festival officials said on their website.
The 76-year still faces court proceedings in the United States for a 1977 case involving sex with a 13-year-old girl, DPA reported.
"With the greatest regret we inform that despite Roman Polanski's earlier confirmation ... the director told organizers he would be changing his plans and cancelled the visit," organizers said on the festival's website.
Commentators speculated that Polanski canceled the visit because he was afraid there would be protests or that he would be detained or extradited to the US.
Polish officials said last year Polanski could not be detained in the country because his case falls under the statute of limitations.
Several right-wing politicians have spoken out against the visit, saying Polanski is still a wanted man in the US.
Polanski was to attend the festival on June 10 and 11, where he was slated to receive a lifetime achievement award and take part in workshops for film students.
Swiss authorities rejected a US request in July 2010 and did not extradite the French-Polish citizen after he was detained in 2009 in Zurich on the longstanding US warrant.
Polanski pleaded guilty 33 years ago in California to unlawful intercourse with then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. Afterward, Polanski spent 42 days at Chino State Prison.
The 76-year-old filmmaker, known for The Pianist, Chinatown and more recently The Ghost, has been dodging extradition to the US for decades.
Since fleeing the US more than three decades ago, Polanski has based himself mainly in Europe, because of the outstanding warrants against him.