French actresses and a director walked out of the French equivalent of the Oscars, Césars, after Roman Polanski, 86, who is wanted in the USA for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1977 was awarded Best Director.
The César's entire board resigned earlier this month amid the backlash.
At the announcement of Polanski's award as best director, boos emerged from the public composed of film teams and cinema professionals.
Polanski chose to skip the Cesar awards ceremony because of earlier protests by women's groups denouncing the 12 nominations "An Officer and a Spy" received after a French woman brought a new rape accusation against him.
French actress Adele Haenel, who recently shared her own sexual assault story at the hands of another French director when she was just 15, was the first to leave the room in protest of Polanski's win.
Last year French actress Valentine Monnier told Le Parisien that Polanski violently raped her when she was 18 in 1975 at a ski chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland.
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The director also fled the United States after pleading guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles.
An Officer And A Spy picked up two other awards for best costume design and best adaptation, but nobody from the cast or crew was there to accept the award.
The show's host, comedian Florence Foresti, left Polanski's film out of her opening remarks when she mentioned the ones with multiple nominations.
The Cesar Awards also attracted criticism from a group of 30 film figures from minority backgrounds who attacked the French industry in an open later published the night before the ceremony in which they protested the stereotypical bit parts for performers from black, North African and Asian origins.
Polanski, who survived the Holocaust in Poland as a child, said this year's awards "have no place for a film whose subject is defending truth and fighting injustice, blind hate and anti-Semitism".
Roman Polanski is the subject of several rape charges and is still being prosecuted by the American justice system for illegal sexual relations with a minor in 1977.