london to host public premiere of oscar-nominated iranian film following trump’s muslim ban
Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman will screen to the public for free in Trafalgar Square on Oscars night, in a bid to show ‘London Is Open’ to a director from Iran, a country affected by Donald Trump’s Muslim Ban.
Model and activist Lily Cole and London Mayor Sadiq Khan are part of the team behind the London premiere of Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman, a free public screening of the Oscar-nominated Iranian film in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 26 February.
Hosted on the same night as the Academy Awards, the event is both an official bid to show that 'London Is Open' to the world, and a cultural response to Donald Trump's racist 'Muslim Ban'. Both the director and stars of the film are from Iran and would therefore be prohibited from attending the awards ceremony under the terms of Trump's executive order.
Although the ban is being challenged by the US courts, both director Asghar Farhadi and star Taraneh Alidoosti have announced they will boycott the awards in protest, even if an exception is made for the event. "Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist," Alidoosti tweeted. "Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest."
Farhadi told the Guardian that the London screening has an important symbolism. "The gathering of the audience around The Salesman in this famous London square is symbolic of unity against the division and separation of people," he told the newspaper. "I offer my warmest thanks to the mayor of London and the cinema community for this generous initiative. I welcome and appreciate this invaluable show of solidarity."
In a short film promoting the screening, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan says, "I want to welcome people from across the capital and beyond to share in this celebration of London as an international hub of creativity and a global beacon if openness and diversity".
The Salesman screening is free and open to the public in Trafalgar Square on Sunday 26 February.
Text Charlotte Gush