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Iran boycotts Oscar race in protest of anti-Islam film

Iran is boycotting the Oscars.

Although writer-director Asghar Farhadi’s acclaimed family drama “A Separation” was named best foreign-language film at February’s Academy Awards ceremony, Iranian officials have opted out of the upcoming Oscar contest.

The move comes as a protest against the recent anti-Islam film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has sparked violence throughout the Middle East.

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In a statement reported by the Iranian Students’ News Agency, Culture and Islamic Guidance Minister Mohammad Hosseini said the Academy Awards boycott is “to protest against the making of a film insulting the Prophet [Muhammad] and because of the organisers’ failure to take an official position [against the film].” He called on other Muslim countries to boycott the Oscars as well.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had no comment on the matter. The official deadline for foreign-language submissions is Oct. 1.

Prior to the boycott, Iran had selected Reza Mirkarimi’s family drama “A Cube of Sugar” as the country’s Academy Awards submission.

Iran has submitted a film for Oscar consideration every year dating back to 1997.

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Follow Mark Olsen on Twitter: @IndieFocus

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