Al-Monitor | : The selection of a documentary instead of a feature film to represent Iran at the Oscars has stirred negative reactions in some Iranian cultural circles, with the choice of “Finding Farideh” being likened to a coup.
Every year, the Farabi Cinema Foundation, which is affiliated to the Culture Ministry, forms a committee of eight to select the country’s nominee for the Academy Awards. Iran has nominated 25 films for the foreign film Oscar and walked off with the statuette twice — with “A Separation” in 2012 and “The Salesman” in 2017.
But this is the first time that Iran has chosen to submit a documentary for what is now called the international feature film award – the new name for “the foreign language film award” since April. The submission criteria allow animated or documentary feature films to be submitted as long as they are feature-length motion pictures produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track. The Oscars also have another award for short documentaries.
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