France's Cesar Academy, which awards its version of the Oscars, was in crisis Friday after its entire board resigned, overwhelmed by a series of rows that have infuriated both women's activists and industry insiders.
The mass resignation came two weeks ahead of the their gala awards ceremony and just days after more than 200 leading film actors, producers and directors demanded "profound reform" of the industry.
"To honour those men and women who made cinema happen in 2019, to find calm and ensure that the festival of film remains just that, a festival, the board... has unanimously decided to resign," the academy said in a statement.
"This collective decision will allow complete renewal of the board," it added.
The move, which has been welcomed by feminist groups, follows weeks of controversy over the academy's attitude to women and its lack of transparency.
In mid-January there was anger after the academy refused to let two young actresses invite their mentors, film-makers Virginie Despentes and Claire Denis, to a dinner organised to honour the up-and-coming actors. Despentes and Denis are outspoken feminists.