Filmmaker protests visa ban as The Salesman wins best foreign language Oscar

Asghar Farhadi at the Oscars in 2012, when he won for the first time with his film, Separation.

Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman has won the best foreign language film Oscar, bringing the award to the filmmaker a second time. Farhadi boycotted the ceremony in Los Angeles over the Trump administration’s visa ban saying conditions for entry were unacceptable.

His acceptance speech was read by Iran’s first person and the first Muslim woman in space, Anousheh Ansari; Farhadi said: My absence is out of respect for the people of my country, and those of the other six nations who have been disrespected by the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the US.”

According to some reports the film, a drama about the difficulties faced by a couple trying to put on a production of Arthur Miller’s The Salesman in Tehran, had a surge in votes for the Oscar following Donald Trump’s executive order. German film Toni Erdmann had been the strong favourite.

Farhadi’s second win puts in the same category as other revered filmmakers like Federico Fellini and Ingmar Bergman, who also won the award twice.

Mahershala Ali also became the first Muslim actor to win an Oscar for acting with his portrayal of a gay black drug dealer in Moonlight, which also won the Best Picture Oscar after some confusion.

Winners list in full

Best film: Moonlight

Best actress: Emma Stone (La La Land)

Best actor: Casey Affleck (Manchester By The Sea)

Best director: Damien Chazelle (La La Land)

Best supporting actress: Viola Davis (Fences)

Best supporting actor: Mahershala Ali (Moonlight)

Best original screenplay: Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester By The Sea)

Best adapted screenplay: Barry Jenkins and Tarell Alvin McCraney (Moonlight)

Best cinematography: Linus Sandgren (La La Land)

Best original score: Justin Hurwitz (La La Land)

Best original song: Justin Hurwitz, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (La La Land)

Best sound editing: Sylvain Bellemare (Arrival)

Best foreign language film: Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)

Best film editing: John Gilbert (Hacksaw Ridge)

Best visual effects: Robert Legato, Adam Valdez, Andrew R. Jones and Dan Lemmon (The Jungle Book)

Best production design: David Wasco and Sandy Reynolds Wasco (La La Land)

Best sound mixing: Kevin O’Connell, Andy Wright, Robert Mackenzie and Peter Grace (Hacksaw Ridge)

Best documentary Feature: Ezra Edelman and Caroline Waterlow (O.J.: Made in America)

Best animated film: Byron Howard, Rich Moore and Clark Spencer (Zootopia)

Best animated short film: Alan Barillaro and Marc Sondheimer (Piper)

Best documentary short subject: Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara (The White Helmets)

Best live action short film: Kristof Deak and Anna Udvardy (Sing)

Best make-up: Alessandro Bertolazzi, Giorgio Gregorini and Christopher Nelson (Suicide Squad)

Best costume design: Colleen Atwood (Fantastic Beast and Where To Find Them)