Iranian submission to Academy Awards to premiere before deadline

TEHRAN, Sept. 22 (MNA) -- The Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) announced that it plans to release “Farwell Baghdad”, Iran’s submission to the Academy Awards, before the deadline.

“We are trying to premiere the film over the next few days,” DEFC Director Shafi Aqamohammadian told the Persian service of ISNA on Tuesday.

“We are currently seeking vendors to print banners and posters for advertising ‘Farwell Baghdad’ and also making arrangements with theaters to screen the film,” he added.

The DEFC, the producer of “Farwell Baghdad”, is seeking to enlist an international distributer for the film, Aqamohammadian stated.

After a hasty decision, the office of the deputy culture minister for cinematic affairs announced on Tuesday that the U.S.-Iraq war drama has been submitted to the 83rd Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category.

Iran’s decision to submit the film to the Academy Awards is in conflict with the special rules for the Best Foreign Language Film Award due to the fact that the film has not yet been screened publicly in Iran.

According to the rules, “The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2009, and no later than September 30, 2010, and first be publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.”

A board comprised of nine cineastes selected by the Farabi Cinematic Foundation has chosen the Iranian submission to the Academy Awards in past years.

However, on September 7, Deputy Culture Minister for Cinematic Affairs Javad Shamaqdari, Iran’s highest-ranking cinematic official, demanded that the relevant institutions change the selection method.

Afterwards, Culture Ministry Supervision and Evaluation Office (SEO) Director Alireza Sajjadpur was assigned by Shamaqdari with the task of selecting the Iranian submission to the Academy Awards.

Shamaqdari’s office announced that Sajjadpur had chosen “Farwell Baghdad” after consulting with a number of cineastes.

“The film’s anti-occupation plot is one of the main reasons the board selected it for the Academy Awards,” the office said Tuesday.

The directorial debut of Mehdi Naderi, the film is about Daniel Dalka, a boxer who kills someone, then enlists in the U.S. army to escape from the mafia, which is seeking revenge, and is then sent to Iraq.

A number of Iranian cineastes have criticized the new method for selecting Iran’s submission to the Academy Awards.

“I wish they would ostensibly keep the same domestic rules in selecting a submission for the Oscar race,” said Homayun As’adian, whose “Gold and Copper” was among the films assessed for the Iranian submission to the Academy Awards.

He said that he felt the intelligence of the Iranian cinema has been insulted by the new selection method.

“The Book of Law” director Maziar Miri believes that expert eyes have been ignored in the new selection process and personal preference has replaced expert evaluation.


News Code 42056

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