Iran millennium-old national epic ‘The Last Fiction’ directed by Ashkan Rahgozar has been introduced as one of the 344 qualified films to vie for the Best Picture category of the 92nd Academy Awards.
The debut action-adventure epic from the Tehran-based Hoorakhsh Studios along with Sky Entertainment had also made it into the list of the cartoon hopefuls to vie for the final five nominees in the Best Animated Feature Film category.
To be eligible for consideration, the films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in Los Angeles County by December 31st, and begin a minimum run of seven consecutive days.
Nominations for the 92nd Academy Awards will be announced on January 13, and the Oscars will be presented on February 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California.
The 120-minute animation is based on the story of 'Zahhak', a tale from an Iranian national epic "The Shahnameh" (Book of Kings), written by Iranian poet Abolqasem Ferdowsi.
The film follows Zahhak’s treacherous rise to the throne in Jamkard in Persia and the young hero Afaridoun’s fight to save the kingdom and its people from darkness.
But he must first conquer his own demons in this portrayal of Persian mythology which reveals human nature.
The process of production and pre-production of this animation has taken nearly 10 years, during which it was introduced as one of the top six animation projects in the world by Annecy Festival (in which the animation premiered) in 2013, and one of the top four animations under production at the Cannes Film Market in 2016.
‘The Last Fiction’ has already received numerous awards at international festivals including the best feature animation award at the 3rd International South American Film Festival in Chile, the Best Film award at the 3rd Ajayu International Animation Festival in Peru, the Best Score award at the 22nd Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea, as well as Best Animated Feature Film at the 16th edition of the San Diego International Kids’ Film Festival in the US.
It is voiced over by prominent Iranian actors, including Parviz Parastouee, Akbar Zanjanpour, Bita Farrahi, Hassan Pourshirazi, Ashkan Khatibi, Hamed Behdad, Shaqayeq Farahani, Melika Sharifinia, Farrokh Nemati, Baran Kosari and Majid Mozaffari.
The animation’s soundtrack has been composed by Christopher Rezaee.
For more information on the film, head to the official English-language website.