U.S.-Iraq war film to represent Iranian cinema at Academy Awards

September 22, 2010

TEHRAN -- “Farwell Baghdad”, a U.S.-Iraq war drama, has been selected by Iranian cultural officials to represent the country at the 81st Annual Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Language Films category.

The report was announced in a press release by the office of the deputy culture minister for cinematic affairs on Tuesday.
“The film’s anti-occupation plot is one of the main reasons the board selected it for the Academy Awards,” the office said.
Directed by Mehdi Naderi, the film is about Daniel Dalka, a boxer who kills someone, joins the U.S. army to escape from the mafia, which is seeking revenge, and then is sent to Iraq.
The film, which represents Naderi’s directorial debut, has been produced by the Documentary and Experimental Film Center that is affiliated to the Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
Iran’s decision to submit the film to the Academy Awards is in conflict with the special rules for the Best Foreign Language Film Award due to the fact that the film has not yet been screened publicly in Iran.
According to the rules, “The motion picture must be first released in the country submitting it no earlier than October 1, 2009, and no later than September 30, 2010, and first be publicly exhibited for at least seven consecutive days in a commercial motion picture theater for the profit of the producer and exhibitor.”
In 1999, “The Children of Heaven”, Majid Majidi’s film depicting the face of poverty in an Iranian family, was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Films category at the Academy Awards.
Photo: Pantea Bahram in a scene from “Farwell Baghdad”