The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the shortlists for nine categories for the upcoming Oscars, according to Variety.
The categories and number of films include documentary feature (15), documentary short subject (10), international feature (15), makeup and hairstyling (10), original score (15), original song (15), animated short film (10), live action short film (10) and visual effects (10).
The shortlist voting concluded on Feb. 5, and the remaining will move on to the official phase one voting, which will take place on March 5-9. The Oscar nominations will be announced on March 15, with the show scheduled to take place on April 25.
The Sun Children and 14 other international features received the quota to this round from among 93 works.
Directed by Majid Majidi, the film tells the story of 12-year-old Ali and his three friends. Together, they work hard to survive and support their families, doing small jobs in a garage and committing petty crimes to make fast money. Everything changes, however, when Ali is entrusted to find a hidden treasure underground but must first enroll at the Sun School, a charitable institution that tries to educate street kids and child laborers, Mehr News Agency reported.
The movie had its Iranian premiere during the 38th Fajr Film Festival in Tehran last February, garnering the Crystal Simorghs for best film, script and set design.
Numerous international events, including the 77th Venice Film Festival, have also screened the movie. The festival honored the film’s star Ruhollah Zamani with the Marcello Mastroianni Award.
According to IRNA, the history of Iran's presence in the Academy Awards dates back to 1977.
Since then, three Iranian films have been nominated for Oscars and two won the precious Award.
The first was the "Children of Heaven" by Majid Majidi, nominated for Oscars in 1998, and other two movies directed by Asghar Farhadi, called "A Separation" and "The Salesman", won Academy Awards for the Best Foreign Language Film in 2011 and 2016 respectively.
Also, "Finding Farideh" by Azadeh Mousavi and Kourosh Ataei was the first Iranian documentary introduced to the 2020 Academy Awards.