ZURICH (Reuters) -- Filmmaker Roman Polanksi was arrested at the request of the United States on trying to enter Switzerland on September 26 to receive a prize, the Zurich Film Festival said in a statement the following day.
Polanski's arrest was in connection to an arrest warrant issued by U.S. authorities in 1978, the statement said.
The filmmaker had been due to receive the prize for his life's work at the Film Festival on Sunday evening, kick-starting a retrospective of his film career at the festival.
Calling Polanski, who won Best Director Oscar for "The Pianist" in 2003, one of the greatest film directors of our time, the festival directors said they had "received this news with great consternation and shock."
Polanski's Los Angeles agent and the U.S. Embassy in Zurich were not immediately available for comment.
The now-76-year-old Polanski pled guilty to a U.S. charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 but fled the United States the following year before his sentencing.
with additional wire reports