Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation (2011), the first Iranian film to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Asghar Farhadi, director of A Separation (2011), the first Iranian film to receive the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Iran has submitted films for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film[nb 1] regularly since 1994. Prior to the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Imperial Iran sent a single film in 1977.

Iran has submitted a total of twenty-six films for Oscar consideration and three films, Majid Majidi's Children of Heaven and Asghar Farhadi's A Separation and The Salesman, have received an Oscar nomination. Of the three films, A Separation and The Salesman won the award. Six of the submitted films were directed by Majidi and five of them were directed by Farhadi. Bahman Ghobadi and Reza Mirkarimi were each chosen to represent Iran at the Oscars on two occasions.

On 24 September 2012, the film A Cube of Sugar was selected as the Iranian entry for the Best Foreign Language Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards.[citation needed] However, on the same day the head of Iran's government controlled cinema agency called for a boycott of the Oscars due to the Innocence of Muslims video on YouTube that originated in the United States.[3] Reuters reported that Iran's Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini had confirmed that Iran would boycott.[4]


The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has invited the film industries of various countries to submit their best film for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film since 1956. The Foreign Language Film Award Committee oversees the process and reviews all the submitted films. Following this, they vote via secret ballot to determine the five nominees for the award.[5]

The Iranian nominee is selected each fall by a committee appointed by the Farabi Cinematic Foundation.[6] Despite poor relations with the United States, Iran has participated in the US-based competition since 1994, missing only one year. They attempted to withdraw their 1995 submission The White Balloon after sending it to Hollywood, but AMPAS refused to accept the withdrawal.[7]

All selected films were primarily in Persian, except for Ghobadi's two Kurdish language films and Farhadi's The Past which was in French.

Also in six occasions, films made by Iranian directors represented other countries: I Love Vienna/Austria, Persepolis/ France, For a Moment, Freedom/Austria, Baba Joon/Israel, Under the Shadow/UK and Border/Sweden.

Below is a list of the films that have been submitted by Iran for review by the Academy for the award by year and the respective Academy Awards ceremony.

Film title used in nomination Persian title Director Result
The Cycle دايره مينا Dariush Mehrjui Not nominated
Through the Olive Trees زیر درختان زیتون Abbas Kiarostami Not nominated
The White Balloon بادکنک سفید Jafar Panahi Not nominated
Gabbeh گبه Mohsen Makhmalbaf Not nominated
Children of Heaven بچه های آسمان Majid Majidi Nominated
The Color of Paradise رنگ خدا Majid Majidi Not nominated
A Time for Drunken Horses زمانی برای مستی اسب‌ها Bahman Ghobadi Not nominated
Baran باران Majid Majidi Not nominated
I'm Taraneh, 15 من ترانه 15 سال دارم Rasul Sadrameli Not nominated
Deep Breath نفس عمیق Parviz Shahbazi Not nominated
Turtles Can Fly لاک‌پشت‌ها هم پرواز می‌کنند Bahman Ghobadi Not nominated
So Close, So Far خیلی دور خیلی نزدیک Reza Mirkarimi Not nominated
Café Transit کافه ترانزیت Kambuzia Partovi Not nominated
M for Mother میم مثل مادر Rasul Mollagholipour Not nominated
The Song of Sparrows آواز گنجشکها Majid Majidi Not nominated
About Elly... ...درباره الی Asghar Farhadi Not nominated
Farewell Baghdad[citation needed] بدرود بغداد Mehdi Naderi Not nominated[8]
A Separation جدایی نادر از سیمین Asghar Farhadi Won Academy Award[9]
The Past[citation needed] گذشته Asghar Farhadi Not nominated
Today[10] امروز Reza Mirkarimi Not nominated
Muhammad: The Messenger of God[11] محمد رسول‌الله Majid Majidi Not nominated
The Salesman[12] فروشنده Asghar Farhadi Won Academy Award[13][14]
Breath[15] نفس Narges Abyar Not nominated
No Date, No Signature[16] بدون تاریخ، بدون امضاء Vahid Jalilvand Not nominated
Finding Farideh[17] در جستجوی فریده Kourosh Ataee, Azadeh Moussavi Not nominated
Sun Children[18] خورشید Majid Majidi Made shortlist[19]
A Hero[20] قهرمان Asghar Farhadi Made shortlist[21]

See also


  1. ^ The category was previously named the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, but this was changed to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in April 2019, after the Academy deemed the word "Foreign" to be outdated.[1][2]


  1. ^ "Academy announces rules for 92nd Oscars". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 23 April 2019. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  2. ^ "Academy Announces Rule Changes For 92nd Oscars". Forbes. Retrieved 12 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Iran to write to Academy over anti-Islam film". Tehran Times. 21 September 2012. Archived from the original on 22 November 2012. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
  4. ^ "Iran Oscars Boycott". Reuters. 24 September 2012. Retrieved 30 September 2012.
  5. ^ "Rule Thirteen: Special Rules for the Foreign Language Film Award". Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 22 August 2013. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  6. ^ "Iran's "Song of Sparrows" at Oscars".
  7. ^ "Iran Requests Academy Not to Consider Its Film Entry". Highbeam. Archived from the original on 23 October 2012. Retrieved 4 October 2015.
  8. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". Retrieved 19 January 2011.
  9. ^ "Iran's "A Separation" wins best foreign language Oscar". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 29 February 2012. Retrieved 26 February 2012.
  10. ^ "Oscars: Iran Selects 'Today' for Foreign-Language Category". Hollywood Reporter. 21 September 2014. Retrieved 21 September 2014.
  11. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (28 September 2015). "Iran Picks Rise of Islam Epic 'Muhammad: The Messenger of God' for Foreign-Language Oscar". Variety. Retrieved 28 September 2015.
  12. ^ "Oscars: Iran Selects Asghar Farhadi's 'The Salesman' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. 17 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  13. ^ "Oscars 2017: The full nominations". BBC News. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  14. ^ Bhushan, Nyay (27 February 2017). "The Salesman wins best foreign language Oscar". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  15. ^ "Iran Selects 'Breath' as Official Submission to Academy Awards". IFP News. 19 September 2017. Retrieved 19 September 2017.
  16. ^ Holdsworth, Nick (15 September 2018). "Oscars: Iran Selects 'No Date, No Signature' for Foreign-Language Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 15 September 2018.
  17. ^ "Iranian documentary "Finding Farideh" to represent Iran at Oscars". The Tehra Times. 18 August 2019. Retrieved 18 August 2019.
  18. ^ "Majidi's 'The Sun' to represent Iran in Oscar 2021". Mehr News Agency. 8 November 2020. Retrieved 8 November 2020.
  19. ^ Davis, Clayton (9 February 2021). "Oscars Shortlists Announced in Nine Categories". Variety. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
  20. ^ Ritman, Alex (21 October 2021). "Oscars: Iran Selects 'A Hero' for International Feature Category". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 21 October 2021.
  21. ^ Davis, Clayton (21 December 2021). "Oscars Shortlists Include Beyoncé, 'Spider-Man' and Two Jonny Greenwood Scores as France's 'Titane' Is Snubbed". Variety. Retrieved 21 December 2021.