Visa ban keeps Iranian filmmaker away from Oscars

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi will not be able to obtain permission to enter the US for this year’s Academy Awards according to the provisions of an executive order signed by President Trump.

Two-time Oscar nominee Farhadi, who wrote and directed “The Salesman”, Iran’s entry for best foreign-language film, would not be able to attend the Academy Awards on February 26, USA Today reported on Saturday.

Trump’s refugee ban, aimed at keeping would-be terrorists from entering the US, appears to already be affecting the entertainment industry by barring entry to Farhadi for

Blocking Farhadi would be an indirect result of the so-called Muslim ban, which places a three-month ban on new travel visas for citizens from the predominantly Muslim countries of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia. (The State Department has listed Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism.)

USA Today has reached out to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts as well as Sciences and Cohen Media Group, the US distributor for “The Salesman”, to confirm whether the ban would definitely affect Farhadi and to learn whether they intend to petition the government to permit him entry.

Neither organization has commented yet.

Farhadi’s compatriot and Salesman star Taraneh Alidoosti had already announced she planned to boycott the ceremony before Trump signed his executive order, which she deemed “racist.”

The film community took to social media Saturday to register its displeasure at the ban on Farhadi, who won his country’s first best foreign-language film Oscar in 2012 for “A Separation”.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a civil rights and advocacy group based in Washington, plans to file a federal lawsuit challenging the legality of the order as early as Monday.


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