Iranian director Asghar Farhadi accepts Oscar at Cannes, following Trump's travel ban

Tom Butler
UK Movies Editor
Farhadi… has finally accepted his Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film – Credit: AFP

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has finally accepted his Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, months after having won it at this year’s ceremony, but being unable to attend due to Donald Trump’s travel ban.

Farhadi, pictured above with Lily-Rose Depp, won for his film ‘The Salesman’, but thanks to the ban, which saw citizens from a number of majority Muslim countries briefly prevented from travelling to the US, he was not there to receive it.

But pleasingly, Meredith Shea, representing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, travelled to Cannes yesterday, where Farhadi is attending the annual film festival, and presented he and producer Alexandre Mallet-Guy with their statue.

On the night, prominent Iranian-Americans Anousheh Ansari, an engineer and self-funded astronaut, and NASA’s Firouz Naderi, accepted the award on Farhadi’s behalf.

Ansari read out a statement from Farhadi, which read: “I’m sorry I’m not with you tonight. My absence is out of respect for the people of my country and those of other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans immigrants from entrance into the U.S. Dividing the world into the ‘us’ and ‘our enemies’ creates fear.”

(Credit: FilmIran)

Actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who appeared in ‘The Salesman’, boycotted the ceremony in protest against the ban.

“Trump’s visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won’t attend the [Academy Awards] in protest,” she wrote in a message on Twitter.

At the time, Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs also condemned the ban, saying in a statement: “The Academy celebrates achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences.

“As supporters of filmmakers – and the human rights of all people – around the globe, we find it extremely troubling that Asghar Farhadi, the director of the Oscar-winning film from Iran ‘A Separation’, along with the cast and crew of this year’s Oscar-nominated film ‘The Salesman’, could be barred from entering the country because of their religion or country of origin.”

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