The management of France's Cesar Awards has resigned amid criticism over Roman Polanski's nominations.

The controversial filmmaker, who remains in exile in Europe after running from a 1977 rape conviction in America, stunned film fans when his latest movie, An Officer and a Spy, led all nominations ahead of the 2020 ceremony.

Feminists and women's right activists were quick to take aim at voters and those running the Cesars - France's Oscars - which take place at the end of the month (Feb20), and now the brains behind the ceremony have quit.

"To honour those who made films in 2019, to regain serenity and make the cinema festival a celebration, the board of directors of the film academy made a unanimous decision to resign," a statement from the French film academy reads.

The film was released in France days after an actress accused Polanski of raping her in 1975, when she was 18.
The director has denied the accusation.

He fled the U.S. in 1977 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl at a party in Hollywood. American lawmakers are still keen to bring him to justice and have called for his extradition several times.