Tajikistan Enters ‘Melody’ as Third Ever Submission in International Oscar Race

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Tajikistan has submitted Behrouz Sebt Rasoul’s Melody for the 2024 Oscars, marking its first entry in 18 years and third to date.

It was submitted for the best international feature film category by the Union of Cinematographers of Tajikistan.

Written and directed by Iranian filmmaker Sebt Rasoul, the story follows a woman who teaches music at a centre for children with cancer. When her students request she compose a piece of music using the sound of birds, Melody travels back to her home village to find the birds as well as an old singer who knows their whereabouts. The title role is played by Diman Zandi.

A release in Tajikistan is planned for September. The film is produced through Sebt Rasoul’s Tehran-based Nama Film and state-owned Tajikistan broadcaster Safina. International sales are handled by France’s Dreamlab Films.

The last time Tajikistan submitted a film to the Oscars was romantic drama Sex & Philosophy by Iranian auteur Mohsen Makhmalbaf in 2005, although it was disqualified as a print of the film was not sent to the Academy before the stated deadline.

The only other time the Central Asia country has submitted a film to the category, then titled best foreign language film, was in 1999 with Bakhtyar Khudojnazarov’s comedy-drama Luna Papa. It did not secure a nomination.

Melody marks the second film to be announced for the international category of the Oscars, which last year included submissions from 92 countries and was won by Germany’s All Quiet On The Western Front.

A shortlist of 15 finalists is scheduled to be announced on December 21, with the final five nominees announced on January 23. The 96th Academy Awards is set to take place on March 10, 2024.

Source : Screendaily