Epic Film ‘Muhammad’ is Iran’s Oscar Entry

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TEHRAN | The epic film “Muhammad” by director Majid Majidi, which portrays the childhood of the prophet, will represent Iran in next year’s competition for an Oscar for best foreign film, media reported Saturday.

A Mehr News Agency report said that from the six films being considered in Iran, “Muhammad, the Messenger of God” was unanimously chosen.

What time is it in your World? by Safi Yazdanian, Mad Visage by Abolhassan Davoodi, Track 143 by Nargess Abyar, Tales by Rakhshan Bani-Etemead, and The Fish and the Cat by Shahram Mokri were the other films considered by the selection committee.

Amir Esfandiyari, a spokesman for the committee, said the criteria for selection called for “a fine representative of the country’s cinema” and relied on “feedback from presence in international forums”.

Muhammad is reportedly the costliest production in the history of Iranian cinema.

Through the biopic, Majidi said he aimed to remove the “violent image” of Islam created by jihadist groups across the globe.

Since Iran released the movie in late August, it has drawn crowds to 130 cinemas across the country, and made nearly $2 million.

After “The Children of Heaven”, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film in 1998, this is the second film by Majidi being submitted to the Academy Awards from Iran.

Iran won the 2012 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film with the “A Separation” by director Asgar Farhadi.

The 88th Academy Awards will be held on February 28.

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