0802 GMT February 18, 2020
The Iranian flick will compete with 'Land of Mine', 'A Man Called Ova', 'Tanna' and 'Toni Erdmann'.
The Academy saw the nominees being read out by past nominees including Jennifer Hudson, Brie Larson, Marcia Gay Harden, Jason Reitman in an audience-free environment. The ditching of the usual press conference format attracted some backlash from PRs and distributors, for whom attendance was seen as a point of pride.
'La La Land', the movie musical which broke records at the Golden Globes earlier this month — where it took more awards than any other film in history — looks likely to repeat the trick at February's Oscars.
Damien Chazelle's movie musical is up for picture, director, actor, actress, original screenplay, cinematography, costume design, film editing, original score, original song (for both 'City of Stars' and 'Audition'), production design, sound editing and sound mixing. This brings it level-pegging with current nominee record-holders 'All About Eve' (1950) and 'Titanic' (1997) and puts it on course for continued domination at the ceremony itself. 'All About Eve' went on to win six Oscars; 'Titanic' took 10.
'The Salesman' is directed, written and produced by acclaimed Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who won the same award for 'A Separation' in 2012.
The film won Best Screenplay, and Best Actor for star Shahab Hosseini, at the Cannes Film Festival in 2016. It also picked up the Satellite Award for Best Foreign Language Film given by the International Press Academy.
It was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2017 Golden Globes earlier this month.
Farhadi is one of the foremost Iranian directors of his generation. 'A Separation' won a Golden Globe and the Golden Bear at the Berlinale 2012, as well as taking the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film.
In an interview with Reuters, the director said 'The Salesman' is a look into the depths of human relations. "The oldest, the most ancient relationship in human history is the couple's relationship, the love relationship between a man and a woman," Farhadi said before the film's premiere in Cannes.
The film was screened in Cairo at Zawya cinema between January 18 and 24.
The 89th Academy Awards will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood.