After speaking of the French actress who accused the director Christophe Ruggia of "touching" and "sexual harassment", the community is engaged in a painful and necessary introspection.
The end of the school holidays, the disappearance of Marie Laforet … this Sunday, November 3, the evening, which promised to be morose, was cataclysmic for the French cinema. At 19 'o clock, Mediapart publishes a long investigation in which the actress Adele Haenel accuses Christophe Ruggia, of"Fondling" and of " sexual harassment " when she was a minor. Ten days later, French cinema looks like a gigantic crisis cell. "Our world has changed," sums up the producer Sandrine Brauer.
Very rarely, the profession, almost as a whole, declared its full support to the actress through its representative bodies: the Society of Film Directors (SRF), the Civil Society of Authors, Directors and Producers (ARP), Unifrance and the Union of Independent Producers (SPI) issued press releases welcoming Adele Haenel's speech.
Everything starts the day after the Mediapart survey. The members of the Board of Directors of the SRF, to which Christophe Ruggia belongs, wake up groggy. The association, founded in 1968, is in an uncomfortable situation: the 54-year-old director is a pillar of the SRF and has regularly chaired it. Ten days later, few people agree to talk about it because "Devastated", "on the ground" or "exhausted by lack of sleep".
This morning, November 4th, the members of the board of directors, led by Catherine Corsini, the co-president of the SRF, try to reach Ruggia. He tells them he will not resign. "We were very moved, overwhelmed by this complicated situation to manage ", says the director Pierre Salvadori. Decision is taken to launch the only measure provided for by the articles of association of the company, in case of serious misconduct committed by one of its members: the procedure of exclusion. "It is not insignificant or harmless that one of our members is accused of these facts, observes Rebecca Zlotowski, director, member of the SRF. Some of us have friendships with Adele Haenel, some have made films with her. It is a situation of great brutality, but our position is above all political. The goal of the SRF is to stay true to its values. "
In a very offensive first communique, the SRF announced on November 4 that it had launched an exclusion procedure against the director. In a second press release, issued on November 8, she indicates that the decision to exclude her has not yet been made. A flip-flop? No, a clarification, says Zlotowski: "This procedure has a specific protocol, including a defendant's defense time. A formal notice was sent to Christophe Ruggia (November 5th)who can provide explanations within fifteen days in writing or orally. After listening, the CA, sovereign, will vote. Once the decision is notified to him, he can still appeal. "