×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

American Film Institute Backs Iranian Director Asghar Farhadi, Denounces Trump’s Travel Ban

The American Film Institute has issued a statement of support for Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, who won’t attend the Academy Awards due to President Donald Trump’s executive order barring people hailing from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen from entering the country.

Farhadi’s film “The Salesman” is nominated for the foreign-language film Oscar. He issued a statement on Sunday saying he will not attend the Feb. 26 Oscar ceremony, even if exceptions are made to allow him entry to the U.S.

The AFI said in its announcement Tuesday that Farhadi has served as artist-in-residence at the AFI Conservatory for the past two years, adding that his classes had a “profound” impact upon the 250 young men and women who attend AFI from around the world. The institute also said it has an open invitation to Farhadi and hopes he will return in the fall in the same role.

“The AFI Conservatory stands with artists and filmmakers who find the power of creation through freedom of expression and freedom of movement,” the statement said. “We believe any form of censorship — including the restriction of travel — to be against all values we cherish as a community of storytellers. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Farhadi back to AFI in the fall.”

Trump signed the executive order on Jan. 27 to suspend entry of refugees to the U.S. for 120 days, and imposed an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria. A 90-day ban was also placed on citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries.

Farhadi said Sunday that while he had originally considered attending, “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,” the director said.

“To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity,” he said. “I hereby express my condemnation of the unjust conditions forced upon some of my compatriots and the citizens of the other six countries trying to legally enter the United States of America and hope that the current situation will not give rise to further divide between nations.”

Farhadi’s film “A Separation” won an Academy Award for best foreign film in 2012. “The Salesman” tells the story of a young couple who play the lead roles in Arthur Miller’s “Death of a Salesman.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Stray Dolls Movie

    Samuel Goldwyn Films Acquires Cynthia Nixon's Tribeca Player 'Stray Dolls' (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Stray Dolls,” a Tribeca Film Festival entry from up-and-coming director Sonejuhi Sinha, has sold North American distribution rights to Samuel Goldwyn Films. Eyeing an early 2020 release, the film stars breakout Geetanjali Thapa, Olivia DeJonge (Netflix’s “The Society”), Robert Aramayo (young Eddard Stark on “Game of Thrones”) and Cynthia Nixon. Thapa plays Riz, a former [...]

  • Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland. Actors Mick

    'The Burnt Orange Heresy' With Mick Jagger, Donald Sutherland Sells Worldwide

    HanWay Films has closed out worldwide sales on “The Burnt Orange Heresy,” the art-heist film that screened in Venice and Toronto. The movie stars Mick Jagger, Claes Bang, and Donald Sutherland. It closed the Venice Film Festival. In addition to North America, where Giuseppe Capotondi’s film will open in spring 2020, SPC has acquired rights [...]

  • Between Worlds Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff to Star in Pulse Films’ Truffle Hunter Movie ‘Pig’

    Nicolas Cage is a truffle hunter who wants his pig back in “Pig,” which started production Monday in Oregon. The film, which Michael Sarnoski will direct from his own script, will also star Alex Wolff (“Hereditary”). Pulse Films, BlockBox Entertainment, Valparaiso Pictures and Cage’s Saturn Pictures are producing in association with Escape Artists and Sweet [...]

  • Sid Haig Dies Devil's Rejects

    Sid Haig, Horror Actor in Rob Zombie Trilogy, Dies at 80

    Sid Haig, known for his role as Captain Spaulding in Rob Zombie’s “House of 1000 Corpses” trilogy, died Saturday. He was 80. His wife announced the news on Instagram. Haig had a fall several weeks ago and suffered serious breathing complications after arriving at the hospital. He died of a lung infection. “On Saturday, September [...]

  • France Boasts Europe's Highest Number of

    France Still Boasts Europe's Highest Number of Theater Screens Per Capita

    France, Europe’s No. 1 movie-going nation, still boasts the continent’s highest number of screens per capita, according to a new study conducted by the French National Film Board (CNC). As of last year, France had 2,040 theaters and 6,000 screens – 69 more screens than in 2017. It’s about one screen per 31 inhabitants. Out [...]

  • Arab Genre Film

    Arab Genre Films Get Boost From Beirut's Maskoon Lab (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just as Netflix tries to gain traction in the Middle East by backing local genre series, such as its first Arab original, “Jinn,” from Jordan, and Egypt’s upcoming “Paranormal,” Beirut’s Maskoon Fantastic Film Festival is launching the region’s first platform dedicated to genre films. Five Arabic-language projects, ranging from a zombie comedy to a supernatural [...]

  • Simon Yam in "Little Q"

    China Box Office: Hong Kong Dog Film 'Little Q' Leads the Pack

    As China gears up for a big political anniversary and national holiday, its box office has been dominated by innocuous animal films and local fare capable of keeping censors happy but unable to make that huge of a splash. None of the top four weekend titles has scored more than 7 out of 10 on [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content