In a major development for Iran’s budding animation industry, an animated feature from the country is set to qualify for the Oscars for the first time.

The Last Fiction, the debut feature from the Tehran-based Hoorakhsh Studios, will play in Hollywood’s Arena Cinelounge (6464 Sunset Blvd) the week of October 18–24. With this theatrical run, it will become eligible for awards consideration. Watch the trailer for the English dub below.

The Iranian government has submitted the live-action documentary Finding Farideh as its entry for the international feature film category. The Last Fiction will compete for best animated feature. The film has played a number of festivals; last year, it screened out of competition at Annecy.

Based on a chapter of the Shahnameh, Iran’s millennium-old national epic, The Last Fiction tells the story of Kaveh, a blacksmith who leads a revolt to destroy the devil that has appeared in a prince’s soul. The action-packed film is hand-drawn, with plenty of cgi and vfx. The director is Ashkan Rahgozar, who founded Hoorakhsh. The studio is known in its home country for its tv series, music videos, shorts, and video games.

In the nine years we’ve been tracking The Last Fiction, its creators have made clear their ambitions for the film. In 2016, Rahgozar told us that he believes the film will do well internationally because it’s “full of action, drama, and mystery,” and also contains deeper thematic elements that play well across cultures. “The main concept of the film is about humanity,” he said. “This film wants to show how a hero can become a villain and how a villain can be good sometimes. It just depends on the path they choose.”

For more information on the film, head to the official English-language website. Screening times can be found on Arena Cinelounge’s website. According to Rahgozar, The Last Fiction will also roll out across Iran and some European countries starting in mid-October — in some regions, the release will be theatrical, and in others it will be on streaming platforms.

"The Last Fiction."

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