Oscar-winning Polish-born filmmaker Roman Polański received a Golden Boot statuette at Friday’s closing gala of the 24th Cinergia European Cinema Forum in Łódź, central Poland.
The statuette is awarded to "rebellious filmmakers going against fashion and trends".
"Thank you very much. Do I even deserve it? It is the most interesting to me and I hope that my latest movie that you are going to watch tonight will make a big impression on you. Thank you in advance and enjoy the viewing," said Roman Polański giving thanks for the award.
Polanski's latest film “An Officer and a Spy” which gala guests were shown, brought him the Grand Jury and International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) Awards at this year's film festival in Venice.
In his speech Mr Polanski also recalled his days as a Łódź Film School student over 50 years ago. He said that back then Łódź looked very different and he wished the city prosperity and further development.
The director was also scheduled to visit his alma mater on Saturday but the meeting was cancelled. Some of the school's students, staff and graduates have demanded that the meeting be called off due to the director's involvement in a sexual assault case.
In his address, Łódź Film School head Mariusz Grzegorzek referred to the controversies. He gave his assurance that despite the protests the majority of students were looking forward to Polanski's appearance at the school.
"I try to understand the doubts around the visit of Roman Polański in our school on Targowa Street, however, I do not completely agree with the opinion of those outraged. Roman Polański is a great film artist, our most prominent alumnus, who has shown respect to our school many times,” said Mr Grzegorzek.
Roman Polanski is embroiled in a 1977 sexual assault case in the US involving then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer. According to the law of the state of California, sex with a minor is treated as rape.