×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Asghar Farhadi to Be Represented at Oscars by First Female Space Tourist and Former NASA Scientist

ROME – Two prominent Iranian Americans – engineer Anousheh Ansari, known as the first female space tourist, and Firouz Naderi, a former director of Solar Systems Exploration at NASA – will represent Iranian auteur Asghar Farhadi and his film “The Salesman” at the upcoming Oscars ceremony, Farhadi’s publicist said Friday.

Farhadi, whose film is nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar, had announced several weeks ago that he would boycott the Oscars ceremony to protest President Trump’s travel ban, even if exceptions were made to allow him entry to the U.S.

The film’s French producer, Alexandre Mallet-Guy, said in an email two days ago that he had decided not to attend the ceremony in solidarity with the director, and that nobody from the film would attend. He also said Farhadi would not be doing interviews if the film won.

The decision to ask two prominent Iranian Americans with no ties to the film world to represent him during Sunday’s ceremony suggests that Farhadi intends to maintain a close rapport with the U.S., where “The Salesman” is currently on release via Cohen Media Group. It’s also a way to underline that America is a nation of immigrants, including Iranians.

Farhadi’s publicist did not comment on the possibility that Ansari and Naderi would relay a statement from the director, or whether a Skype linkup with Farhadi in Iran was a conceivable option in the event of an Oscar victory.

Born in Iran, Ansari moved to the U.S. in 1984 as a teenager, five years after the Islamic Revolution. She made global headlines in 2006 when she became the first female private space explorer, as her website puts it, by boarding a Russian Soyuz spacecraft for an eight-day expedition, becoming the first Iranian and also the first Muslim woman in space.

At the insistence of NASA and Russian officials, she did not wear the Iranian flag officially at launch. She wore Iranian flag colors instead, and kept the Iranian flag on her official flight patch. Ansari and her husband said no political message was intended, despite rising tensions at the time between Washington and Tehran.

Naderi, who was also born in Iran and who left for the U.S. in 1964, spent more than 30 years in various positions at NASA, including director of Solar Systems Exploration and manager of NASA’s Mars Exploration Program. He left NASA in 2016 and is currently a management consultant.

 

More Film

  • China Film Group's Jiang Ping

    Shanghai: China Studio Chiefs Debate Winter Chills and U.S. Rivalry

    The Shanghai International Film Festival pulled off the impressive feat of assembling leading executives from seven of China’s top film studios. Their discussion focused on the problems that have recently beset the production sector and the industry’s relationship with Hollywood. “The film industry achieved great things in 2018, but it was also the year that [...]

  • Chinese President Xi Jinping claps while

    Propaganda Films to Dominate Chinese Theaters in Anniversary Year

    A presentation at the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday shed light on the welter of propaganda films that will compete with Hollywood blockbusters for the attention of Chinese cinema goers in the second half of this year. This year is laden with political significance for China’s ruling Communist Party. It is 100 years since [...]

  • Leung Chiu-wai

    Tony Leung to Star in Shanghai Film Group's 'Fox Hunt' Police Action Film

    Hong Kong’s Tony Leung Chiu-wai and mainland China’s Duan Yihong will head the cast of the Shanghai Film Group’s upcoming “Fox Hunt.” The film is based on real live events and depicts the activities of Operation Fox Hunt, a worldwide anti-corruption initiative managed by China’s Ministry of Public Security. The operation seeks to find and [...]

  • Wings Over Everest

    Terence Chang's 'Wings Over Everest' Set to Swell China's Rescue Film Genre

    “Wings over Everest,” a new action adventure film from veteran producer Terence Chang and “Wolf Warrior 2” producer Lu Jianmin, is poised to join the burgeoning Chinese sub-genre of rescue movies.   The Chinese- and English-language film stars Chinese actress Zhang Jingchu (“Project Gutenberg”; “Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation”), Japanese actor Koji Yakusho (“Babel”; “Memoirs of a [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    China Film Marketing Firms Must Adapt To Internet Age, Says Huayi's Jerry Ye

    Huayi Brothers Pictures CEO and media group VP Jerry Ye made no mention Sunday of the abrupt cancellation of the premiere for his firm’s highly anticipated war epic “The Eight Hundred,” which was set to be the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival’s opening film the night before. Instead, he looked to the future at a panel [...]

  • The Meg

    Chinese Script Development Requires A Different Touch, Top Producers Say

    Leading film producers highlighted the challenges of developing good scripts in China and abroad at a panel during the Shanghai International Film Festival on Sunday. Wanda Media GM Jiang Wei (aka Wayne Jiang) recommended that producers remain aware of the real differences between the scriptwriting process for Chinese productions versus international and co-productions. The fundamental [...]

  • Lou Ye's "Spring Fever"

    Shanghai: Previously-Banned Producer Nai An Now Hails Chinese Film Funding

    At a panel on indie film production at the Shanghai Intl. Film Festival, Chinese and foreign producers discussed the shifting funding landscape for their projects over the years. Nai An, the longtime collaborator of controversial sixth generation Chinese filmmaker Lou Ye, kicked off the talk with a look back at her producing career, which has [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content