For the first time in 48 years, a Arab-funded film wins the Oscar. The Salesman, best foreign language film by Asghar Farhadi, was co-funded by the Doha Film Institute.
A movie that was co-financed by the Doha Film Institute snagged an Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards on Sunday. The Salesman by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won the Oscar for best foreign language film, after lead actor Shahab Hosseini won the award for Best Actor and Asghar Farhadi won the award for Best Screenplay at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
The Salesman revolves around a young couple, Emad and Rana, who are co-starring in a local theater adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Their marriage starts to crumble and the couple find themselves facing difficulty living with one another after they move into an apartment previously inhabited by a prostitute.
The movie stars Shahab Hosseini as Emad and Taraneh Alidoosti as Rana, and was directed by Asghar Farhadi, who is also one of the Masters of Qumra 2017, a DFI initiative that provides mentorship and practical training for aspiring filmmakers in Qatar and around the world.
The DFI congratulated the win through a tweet, calling the moment “historic”, as no Arab co-founded film has won an Oscar over 48 years.
— Doha Film Institute (@DohaFilm) February 27, 2017
Farhadi was however not present to receive his Oscar in person. The director had chosen to boycott the Hollywood gala in solidarity with all the people he said were “disrespected” by the US President’s muslim ban.
This is Farhadi’s second Oscar win. Back in 2012, his movie A Separation won an Academy Award in the same category, as well as a Golden Globe.
Farhadi will be in Qatar next month for the DFI’s Qumra. The third edition of the program will be held in Doha from March 3 to 8.