An Historic First -- an Iranian-American is Nominated for an Acting Oscar

Shoreh Aghdashloo gives memorable performance in "House of Sand and Fog"

By Steve Holgate
Washington File Special Correspondent

Washington -- For Iranian audiences, this year's Academy Awards -- or "Oscar" -- ceremony February 29 will bring special importance. An Iranian-American has been nominated for an acting award for the first time in Oscar history.

The Tehran-born actress Shoreh Aghdashloo has been nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in the drama "House of Sand and Fog." She has already won several acting awards for this performance, including the prestigious New York Film Critics Circle.

As Oscar night nears, she is reported to have said that she "feels as if the whole weight of Persia is resting on her shoulders." She may take heart from the fact that about 30 percent of the Oscars have gone to foreign-language films or foreign-born nominees. Iranians may want to make sure they are glued to their sets early in the program; the Best Supporting Actress Award is sometimes the first one handed out.

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