Vahid Jalilvand’s drama “No Date, No Signature” has been submitted by the Farabi Cinema Foundation (FCF) to the 2019 Academy Awards as Iran’s pick for the foreign-language Oscar.
Since 1956, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited countries around the world to submit their best films for the Best Foreign Language Film award. For the last three and a half decades, the FCF has been the institution submitting films on Iran’s behalf.
Some Iranians have criticized the FCF for taking part in this year’s Oscars, given the U.S. withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal in May and the re-imposition of sanctions that have crippled the country’s economy.
The FCF Oscar committee released a statement in response which said: “Some patriotic, well-meaning and pious people have called on the FCF to boycott the Oscars. However, the FCF committee believes that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a non-governmental institution which represents American filmmakers.”
“Many prominent filmmakers from the U.S., Europe, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Middle East including Iran take part in the Oscars,” the committee members noted. “American filmmakers, members of the Academy Awards, the majority of the U.S. media and the press are staunch critics of President Donald Trump and his racist and discriminatory policies. Taking part in the Academy Awards could, therefore, strengthen ties between nations, influence public opinion and ultimately exert pressure on the U.S. government.”
This year’s FCF Oscar-selection committee includes Mohammad Aladpoush (cinematographer), Amin Tarokh (film and TV actor), Farhad Tohidi (screenwriter), Ramin Heidari Faroughi (documentary filmmaker), Mohammad Mehdi Asgarpour (film director), Raed Faridzadeh (deputy director of Farabi Cinema Foundation), Atousa Ghalamfarsai (set designer) and Ghasem Gholipour (producer.)
Translated from Persian by Fardine Hamidi