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Zurich Film Festival Closes With Polanski Arrest Still in the Air

The Zurich Film Festival closed on Sunday with numerous awards handed out for international films, but Roman Polanski's arrest is sure to be what's remembered most from this year's event, Variety reports.

The Zurich Film Festival closed on Sunday with numerous awards handed out for international films, but Roman Polanski's arrest is sure to be what's remembered most from this year's event, Variety reports.

Polanski was arrested at Zurich Airport on Sept. 25 en route to the event where he was to receive a lifetime achievement award. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor in 1978, but then fled the country and has eluded capture ever since.

The festival organizers said they were "taken aback" by Polanski's arrest, adding "Polanski was in Zurich to be celebrated as guest of honor for his cinematic work, which has received undisputed recognition worldwide among experts."

According to Variety, fest director Karl Spoerri said, "The 5th Zurich Film Festival certainly has been the most exciting to date. Yes, the Polanski arrest happened and was an unfortunate incident, but there were too many great films, filmmakers, stars and attendees to let this incident be a crippling distraction."