At a press conference in Stockholm today it was announced that Opponent (Motståndaren), written and directed by Milad Alami, beat strong competition from Paradiset by Mika Gustafson and Tillsammans 99 by Lukas Moodysson to be named as Sweden’s entry for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards.
In Opponent, Iman (Payman Maadi) and his family flee Iran and end up in a hotel turned into a refugee centre in Northern Sweden. Despite the precarious existence of the asylum, Iman and his wife Maryam (Marall Nasiri) manage to create a safe haven for their daughters, but have they really escaped the threat from their homeland? When Iman breaks a promise to his wife and joins a local wrestling club, rumours spread and a dark secret threatens to tear the family apart.
Petter Mattsson, Chairman of the Swedish Oscar Committee, said: “Milad Alami’s film contains so much that defines what constitutes a strong drama portrayed on film. The personal fate, the current political themes, the placement of the story in a context that makes these become so much clearer. This paired with excellent acting and stylish and effective storytelling makes Opponent a very worthy Oscar candidate.”
Milad Alami added: “We are very proud and honoured to be the Swedish contribution to the Oscars this year! I am personally extra proud of our fantastic actors and our team.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce its shortlist for the 2024 Oscars on 21st December with its final selection of five films to be presented on 23rd January. The winner will be announced at the 96th Academy Awards on 10th March 2024 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.