By: Hannah Paige Michels ~Head Photographer~
President Donald Trump’s immigration and refugee ban has already begun impacting people across the globe, including Oscar nominee Asghar Farhadi. The Iranian filmmaker of The Salesman is banned from entering the United States for the Academy Awards under Trump’s executive order.
The public remained uncertain about Farhadi’s exemption from the ban, but it seems to be irrelevant as Farhadi refuses to attend.
In a statement released on Sunday, Farhadi said, “…the possibility of this presence is being accompanied by ifs and buts which are in no way acceptable to me even if exceptions were to be made for my trip…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’s film The Salesman is nominated for Best Foreign Film this year. Another film of his, A Separation, was also nominated in 2012 for Best Original Screenplay.
Filmmaker and Director of the Digital Innovation, Film and Television (DIFT) program Blis DeVault said she supports and respects Farhadi’s decision.
“Filmmakers risk their lives, their finances and their governments to bring stories to life and to make a difference in the world,” DeVault said. “We need to be open to people who are different from us and hear their voices,”
DeVault said she would continue to make films, regardless of any borders she may encounter.
“Through your art you would try to still continue to reach as many people as you can…you can never give up,” DeVault said. “If we live in a bubble and continue to be divided and not learn from each other, nothing will change.”
She voiced her hope that the ban would not deter directors from producing more work.
“Filmmakers are very passionate people,” DeVault said. “Hopefully (Farhadi) will continue to make films and continue to spark and ignite a dialogue, which is what I would want to do.”
DeVault reflected on her time shooting a documentary in Vietnam, just after Americans were granted entry into the country.
“Everybody really wants the same thing,” DeVault said. “They want to live in peace, they want to prosper, they want to raise their families, they want to educate their kids…People, in general, are loving…Excluding people does nothing.”