Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s The Salesman is up for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, but he has vowed to boycott the ceremony over President Trump’s travel ban. He has served as Artist-in-Residence at the AFI Conservatory for the past two years, and today the AFI came out with a statement defending him as he boycotts the Oscar ceremony:

Portraits de Asghar Farhadi

Asghar Farhadi has served as Artist-in-Residence for the past two years at the AFI Conservatory, and his classes had a profound impact upon the 250 young men and women who attend AFI from around the world.

The AFI Conservatory stands with artists and filmmakers who find the power of creation through freedom of expression and freedom of movement.  We believe any form of censorship — including the restriction of travel — to be against all values we cherish as a community of storytellers.

We look forward to welcoming Mr. Farhadi back to AFI in the fall.