The Farabi Cinema Foundation has announced that Majid Majidi‘s “Muhammad: The Messenger of God” will represent the Middle Eastern nation in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.
The film was selected from a list of 10 titles that included festival favorites such as “What’s the Time in Your World?”, “Tales,” “Melbourne,” and “Fish & Cat.” This is the fifth time one Majidi’s films will represent his country at the Oscars making the Iranian director that has been granted the distinction the most times.
“Muhammad: The Messenger of God” is a historical epic focused on the formative years of Islam’s last prophet and its the first installment in a three-part project about Muhammad’s life. The film is the most expensive Iranian production ever made and had 3-time Academy Award-winner Vittorio Storaro as its DP. “Muhammad: The Messenger of God” recently opened the 39th Montreal World Film Festival.
The film has caused controversy ad it has been banned in other Muslim countries that reject any
visual depiction of the prophet, even if his face never actually appears on screen.
International sales are being handled by production company Nourtaban Film Industry. U.S. rights are still available.
Asghar Farhadi’s “A Separation” became the first Iranian film to win the Academy Award in the category back in 2012. Prior to that win the country had only been nominated once for another of Majid Majidi’s films: “Children of Heaven.”