Roman Polanski, director of such films as “Rosemary’s Baby” and “The Pianist” was detained when he landed in Zurich on Saturday on his way to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival, according to BBC News.

He is being held by the Swiss for a 2005 international alert put out by the US. Polanski fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a minor.

He has been living primarily in France for the past thirty years, due to their lenient extradition laws. Although Polanski owns a home in Switzerland, he had never been arrested there. This time, however, US officials were aware of his trip in advance, which gave them time to draw up paperwork for his arrest and send an arrest warrant to Swiss authorities.

Organizers of the Zurich Film Festival said they felt “shock and dismay” over Polanski’s detainment, according to the BBC. Festival managers said in a statement that a special ceremony is planned for Sunday night “to allow everyone to express their solidarity for Roman Polanski and their admiration for his work,” reported the BBC.

A Swiss spokesman told BBC that they are now awaiting an official extradition request from the US.

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Brooklynne Kelly Peters is a Blast contributing editor

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