The Rosemary's Baby filmmaker has endured a tough year since he was taken into custody by Swiss officials last September (09), when he was arrested on a 33-year-old child sex charge.
He was placed under house arrest as authorities considered granting U.S. prosecutors' requests to extradite him to be punished for the crime, but the application was denied and Polanski was freed in July (10).
But his legal problems have not affected his ability to impress critics with his work - Ghost Writer, starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor, was selected by the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) as the best release of the year (10).
British actress Olivia Williams stepped up to accept the Fipresci Grand Prix 2010 award on behalf of Polanski and the movie's cast at a ceremony in the city of San Sebastian on Friday.
Polanski fled America and set up home in France on the eve of sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.