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3 Iranian Cineastes Invited to Join Academy Awards

Hossein Jafarian, the cinematographer of Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning film “The Salesman,” has been invited to join the AMPAS cinematographers section while collaborating filmmakers Farnoush Samadi and Ali Asgari, who have won over 30 international awar
3 Iranian Cineastes Invited to Join Academy Awards3 Iranian Cineastes Invited to Join Academy Awards

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, known around the world for its annual Academy Awards or The Oscars, has unveiled names of 774 new members, including artists and executives who have distinguished themselves by their contributions to theatrical motion pictures, invited to join the Oscars organization, bringing the total membership closer to 8,500.This is a record number, up from last year’s 683-member addition. The invitees come from 57 countries, including three from Iran.

The list comprises 39% female, increasing overall total in the category which has been a focus of AMPAS over the past couple of years. AMPAS now boasts overall female membership to 28%.

The three Iranians include cinematographer Hossein Jafarian and filmmakers Farnoush Samadi and Ali Asgari, ISNA reported on its Persian website.

Jafarian, 74, was the cinematographer of "The Salesman," the Oscar-winning film of acclaimed director Asghar Farhadi. He has been invited to join the AMPAS cinematographers section.

Jafarian graduated from Tehran University's School of Dramatic Arts and began his career working for Iran's state-run radio and TV broadcaster where he shot over 40 documentaries and TV shows before the 1979 Islamic Revolution. He debuted in cinema in 1984 and since then has done the cinematography for over 45 films.

His name is associated with some of Iran's critically acclaimed films including "Nargess" (1992) and "The May Lady" (1998) and "Under the Skin of the City" all directed by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, "Through the Olive Trees" by Abbas Kiarostami (1994), and "Crimson Gold" by Jafar Panahi (2003). Besides "The Salesman," he has collaborated with Farhadi in "Fireworks Wednesday" (2006) and "About Elly" (2009). Jafarian has been recognized for his work nationally and internationally with numerous cinematography awards. Filmmakers Samadi, 35, and Asgari, 36, are listed in the short film and feature animation branch of AMPAS.

  Successful Collaboration

Samadi and Asgari are both graduates of cinema from Academy of Fine Arts in Rome, Italy. The two cooperated in several short films and won awards. They first co-wrote "More Than Two Hours" (2013) and "The Baby" (2014), both directed by Asgari, which premiered in Cannes and Venice respectively. "The Silence" (2016) is their first collaboration as co-directors. "Gaze" (2017) by Samadi had its world premiere in Locarno. They also co-wrote Asgari's first feature film, "Disappearance" (2017) that had its world premiere in Venice.

For their works, Samadi and Asgari have won over 30 awards at international film festivals. Last year 13 Iranian cineastes, including actresses Leila Hatami and Nazanin Bonyadi and filmmaker Mohammad Rasoulof were invited to the academy. Some known actors invited to join the academy this year include Daniel Kaluuya, Tiffany Haddish, Kumail Nanjiani, Daisy Ridley, Gina Rodriguez, Gal Gadot, Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Dwayne Johnson, Chris Pratt and Jada Pinkett Smith. Elle Fanning is the youngest invitee at 19, while Betty White, 95, is the oldest. Writers tapped include J. K. Rowling, Emily V. Gordon, Jonathan Nolan and Joe Robert Cole. Invited musicians include Kendrick Lamar, Melissa Etheridge and Sufjan Stevens.

The academy, headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, is a professional honorary organization with the goal of advancing the arts and sciences of motion pictures. The membership process is by sponsorship, not application. Candidates must be sponsored (introduced) by two academy members from the branch to which the candidate seeks admission. Additionally, Academy Award nominees are automatically considered for membership and do not require sponsors.

Nominees and sponsored candidates are reviewed by branch committees and recommendations for membership are considered by the academy’s board of governors, which decides which individuals will receive invitations.

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