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Amid Oscars boycott, Iranian film set for major London screening

Award-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi will not attend Academy Award ceremony due to the Muslim ban
A still for the film shows star Taraneh Alidoosti, who has said she will boycott the Oscars ceremony in protest at Trump's 'racist' travel ban

London is to host a free open air screening of Oscar-nominated Iranian feature The Salesman as the film's director refuses to attend the biggest film night of the year in Los Angeles.

Asghar Farhadi has said he will not attend the Academy Awards ceremony on 26 February because of US President Donald Trump’s executive order blocking entry into the country for citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries - including Iran.

"To humiliate one nation with the pretext of guarding the security of another is not a new phenomenon in history and has always laid the groundwork for the creation of future divide and enmity," Farhadi said.

Lead actress in the film Taraneh Alidoosti has also announced that she would not be attending the ceremony

But there will be a free screening of the film at 3pm on Sunday 26 February in Trafalgar Square, London, to celebrate the work of Farhadi, who won the Oscar for A Separation in 2012.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, said the screening would “celebrate the capital’s success as a creative hub and beacon for openness and diversity".

The screening will also include speeches by high-profile figures from the film world, including director Mike Leigh.

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 US embassy.

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