London to host thousands for special open-air screening of Oscar nominated drama

Ben Skipper
The two leads in 'The Salesman' and Trafalgar Square itself. (Credits: Phil Toscano/PA Wire / Filmiran)
The two leads in ‘The Salesman’ and Trafalgar Square itself. (Credits: Phil Toscano/PA Wire / Filmiran)

London Mayor Sadiq Khan will welcome Iranian director Asghar Farhadi to Trafalgar Square for a special one-night-only screening of his Oscar nominated drama ‘The Salesman’ later this month.

Taking place on Sunday 26 February (via The Guardian), the day of this year’s Academy Awards, Trafalgar Square will be transformed into the city’s biggest open-air screening for the first UK showing of the film.

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Asghar Farhadi was one of the famous faces affected by President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Muslim ban’ in January. The ban has since been suspended, but Farhadi has chosen not to attend the Academy Awards where ‘The Salesman’ has been nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

An audience of up to 10,000 people is expected to attend the free screening, where celebrated British director Mike Leigh, who recently won a Bafta for ‘I, Daniel Blake’ will speak to the crowds.

“This free event is an opportunity for all Londoners to come together and celebrate London’s diversity demonstrating that London is open to creative talent as well as people from all countries and all communities,” says the Mayor of London’s website.

The event will start at 4:00pm GMT, with the audience able to take their places from 3:00pm. The film will begin at 4:25pm and end at around 7:00pm.

‘The Salesman’ is about a young Iranian couple who play the leads in a local am-dram performance of ‘Death of a Salesmen’ as their relationship takes a hit after their moves into a new flat.

The screening has been organised by the London Mayor’s office with distributor Curzon Artificial Eye and Amazon Studios.