London mayor to screen Iranian film on Oscars night

Posted February 16, 2017

Mayor Sadiq Khan said Tuesday that Asghar Farhadi's "The Salesman" will play in Trafalgar Square on Oscars day, February 26, to celebrate London "as an worldwide hub of creativity and as a beacon of diversity".

This London screening is part of the #LondonIsOpen campaign by the Mayor to celebrate the capital's diversity, and is a show of solidarity for those people across the world affected by the so-called "Muslim ban".

The mayor announced today that he's hosting the United Kingdom premiere of 'The Salesman', the Oscar-nominated Iranian film by Asghar Farhadi, who fell victim to Donald Trump's travel ban.

The screening - on February 26, just hours before the Oscars are handed out in Hollywood - will mark the film's United Kingdom premiere.

It is not yet known if Asghar Farhadi will attend the event in London.

His film The Salesman, which will compete for the best foreign language film at the star-studded ceremony, will be unveiled at a free screening in Trafalgar Square just hours before the prizes are handed out.

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The screening came about after film-makers and actors including Keira Knightley and Kevin Macdonald tried to secure permission to have the film screened in Grosvenor Square, near the U.S. embassy.

He said: "We're transforming Trafalgar Square into London's biggest cinema, for a very special event". He said that the free screening in London will represent "an worldwide hub of creativity and as a beacon of diversity".

"The gathering of the audience around The Salesman in London would be a symbol of unity against the division and separation of people" stated Mr. Khan.

This critically-acclaimed film won Best Screenplay at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, with Shahab Hosseini winning Best Actor. "I welcome and appreciate this invaluable show of solidarity".

"Londoners have always prided themselves on their openness to the world", Mr Khan said.