Iranian director Asghar Farhadi has recruited two prominent Iranian Americans to represent him at the Academy Awards on Sunday.
Farhadi’s “The Salesman” is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, but the filmmaker is boycotting the event because of President Trump’s continued attempt to ban travel from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering America.
Anousheh Ansari, who was the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA, will represent “The Salesman” on Sunday night, despite having zero ties to the film industry.
Trump’s executive order was shot down by courts, but the president has repeatedly said a new version of the policy will be rolled out in the near future.
Farhadi, whose film “A Separation” won an Oscar five years ago, told the New York Times that although he originally planned to attend the event, he changed his mind after learning about Trump’s initial executive order. He decided he would boycott the Oscars regardless of whether or not he would be allowed to enter the country.
“It now seems that the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip,” Farhadi said in his statement last month, released by Canadian distributor Elevation Pictures. “I would therefore like to convey via this statement what I would have expressed to the press were I to travel to the United States.”