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"Nader and Simin" back in favor for Oscar race

TEHRAN, Aug. 14 (Mehr News Agency) -- Asghar Farhadi's acclaimed film "Nader and Simin, a Separation" is once again in the spotlight within the community of the Iranian cineastes after the issue of selecting Iran's representative for the Oscars 2012 was broached last week.

A board comprised of nine cineastes has been assigned by the Farabi Cinematic Foundation, an affiliate to the Ministry of Culture an Islamic Guidance, to choose the Iranian submission to the Academy Awards.

Controversial filmmaker Bahman Farmanara said that only "Nader and Simin" deserves to represent Iranian cinema at the Oscars 2012.

"It is a total waste of time, (if) any film except 'Nader and Simin' is submitted to the Oscars," Farmanara wrote in an article published in the Persian daily Ruzgar last week.

"Because, in addition to all its financial and artistic achievements, a prominent company like Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the North American rights to the film," he added.

He criticized Iranian officials for "improper cinematic policies" and said that they will finally pick a film that has almost no luck to be among the Oscar nominees for the Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category.

He continued, "It is more likely 'Thesis' will be selected due to its producer's connection with the deputy culture minister for cinematic affairs."

"Thesis", whose story is set in the atmosphere of Iran's postelection unrest in 2009, has been produced by Ruhollah Shamaqdari, who is the brother of Iranian Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari.

"Nader and Simin" is also producer and actor Alireza Shojanuri's choice for the Oscars 2012.

"'Nader and Simin' is the most appropriate film ever produced in the history of Iranian cinema, which deserves to be submitted to the Oscars," he told the Persian service of ISNA on Sunday.

"It is important for the Academy officials that a film has a prominent distributor in the United States. 'Nader and Simin' has such a distributor, so that will help convince them to see it," he added.

A number of Iranian members of Facebook has also launched a campaign to support submission of "Nader and Simin" to the Oscars.

They had previously asked Iranian filmgoers to watch the film instead of "Thesis", which allegedly was planned in a manner to undermine the case of Neda Agha-Soltan, a student who was killed during the unrest in Tehran in 2009.

Set in contemporary Iran, "Nader and Simin" is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage.

The film won a Golden Bear for best film at the Berlin Film Festival this year and its cast ensemble received best actor and actress Silver Bears at the event.

Farhadi's previous film "About Elly" was Iran's submission to the Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category in 2009.

... Payvand News - 08/14/11 ... --

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