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  • Iranian director Asghar Farhadi speaks via a video link at the screening of the film "The Salesman" in Trafalgar Square in London n protest of Trump

    Iranian director Asghar Farhadi speaks via a video link at the screening of the film "The Salesman" in Trafalgar Square in London n protest of Trump's travel ban. | Photo: Reuters

The director made headlines last month for refusing to attend the Oscars in protest of President Donald Trump's travel ban.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, the two-time Oscar-winning director confirmed Tuesday that his next film will be in Spanish, will feature high-profile actors Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem and will start shooting in Spain in September.

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Speaking from Madrid, the director said he did not speak Spanish and had written the script in his native language Farsi. “I don’t feel the change of language changes your voice,” he explained. “(My voice has) empathy with all the characters, a level of compassion that is general.”

“The film is again about family and family relationships,” Farhadi said of his new film arguing that it would follow the theme of his previous work. “But there are also some new aspects in it. Yes, they (Cruz and Bardem) are in the film but they are not necessarily a couple in the film.” Cruz and Bardem are both Oscar-winning actors as well as a real-life couple.

Just last month Farhadi won his second Oscar as the director of "The Salesman." His first Oscar win was for "A Separation."

The famed director made headlines last month for refusing to attend the Oscars ceremony in protest of President Donald Trump's now-suspended executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran.

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He also has been an outspoken critic of the far right, saying at a London protest screening his film that he hoped the anti-fascist movement grows.

He has shared very little about the details of the untitled project but publically the plot revolves around a family of winemakers living in rural Spain.

Farhadi was speaking as a guest of the Doha Film Institute’s Qumra film event where he shared with students how he reads books more than he watches films. “Nowadays there are more remarkable books than there are remarkable films,” he said.

“There used to be more of good films and there are still a few but it’s less the case than in literature. I feel cinema is tending to a certain uniformity, the films are more or less similar. Whereas in literature there is more diversity.”

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