It’s time for the 71st annual British Academy Film Awards, and Iran is front-and-center in the running for the category of Best Film Not in the English Language.
Asghar Farhadi’s film The Salesman famously won the Foreign Language Oscar last year, a potentially strong indicator; BAFTA Film Awards in this category have somewhat trended in agreement with Oscar wins, such as with last year’s Hungarian film Son of Saul which took home both awards. It’s notable that Farhadi is the only Iranian director to ever be nominated for a BAFTA, with A Separation competing in this category back in 2011.
Park Chan-wook’s impressive, sexually-liberated The Handmaiden represents significant competition for The Salesman, as well as Paul Verhoeven’s Elle, a French-language psychological thriller starring the multilingual Isabelle Huppart. Rounding out the list of nominees is Andrey Zvyagintsev’s Loveless, which won the Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes, and Angelina Jolie’s First They Killed My Father, which is available to stream on the Netflix platform where it officially debuted to the public.
Considering that Narges Abyar’s Nafas (‘Breath’) was not nominated for an Oscar this year, we at least have another chance to root for an Iranian filmmaker!
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