Iran returned to the race for a prestigious Oscar award on January 24 with the psychological thriller The Salesman.
The Farsi-language film is by director Asghar Farhadi, who in 2012 earned for Iran its first-ever Academy Award with A Separation.
In The Salesman, an Iranian couple's relationship is strained as they perform the American stage classic Death Of A Salesman. They move into a new apartment, where a violent act connected to a former tenant changes their lives.
Farhadi told AP: "Any film can have an impact on our feelings. And also when the film is over, those feelings turn into thoughts and reflections. At the root of any kind of change, there is thoughtfulness and reflection."
Iranian authorities have censored some filmmakers in the name of Islamic morality, but Farhadi, who lives and works in Iran, said he has not encountered much of a problem.
"In terms of making my film, I don't face any difficulty," he told Reuters. "But when the film is released, notwithstanding its great reception by the public, there is a minority, a very small minority, who attempt to create obstacles. Those kinds of people would even perceive this nomination as some kind of conspiracy."
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters