LOS ANGELES: A record 92 countries have entered the race hoping to snag an Oscar for best foreign language film at next year’s awards, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced. Among the contenders that have created a buzz this year are eight Arab films. These include: Syria’s “Little Gandhi,” Egypt’s “Sheikh Jackson,” Iraq’s “Reseba: The Dark Wind,” Lebanon’s “The Insult,” Morocco’s “Razzia,” Palestine’s “Wajib,” Tunisia’s “The Last of Us,” and Algeria’s “Road to Istanbul.” Angelina Jolie’s “First They Killed My Father” from Cambodia, Robin Camillo’s “BPM (Beats Per Minute)” from France, and Joachim Trier’s “Thelma” from Norway, are some of the favorites to win. Swedish art world satire “The Square,” directed by Ruben Ostlund, was the shock winner at the Cannes Film Festival this year and is also among the contenders. First-time entrants include Haiti’s “Ayiti Mon Amour,” Lao People’s Democratic Republic’s “Dearest Sister” and Syria’s “Little Gandhi.” Last year’s Oscar for best foreign language film went to Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s “The Salesman.” Farhadi boycotted the ceremony over US President Donald Trump’s visa ban barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Iran, from entering the United States. Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards will be announced on Jan. 23 and the glitzy ceremony will be held on March 4 in Hollywood.
House of Khan: Pakistani finds fame as ‘Game of Thrones’ doppelganger
The 25-year-old so resembles actor Peter Dinklage, who plays Tyrion Lannister in TV hit ‘Game of Thrones’
Not only are Khan and Dinklage’s faces strikingly similar, they are also the same height
Updated 22 March 2019
RAWALPINDI, Pakistan: Pakistani waiter Rozi Khan had never heard of the Game of Thrones — or its hugely popular character Tyrion Lannister — until his striking resemblance to the dwarf anti-hero got heads turning at home.
The 25-year-old so resembles actor Peter Dinklage — who has played the witty and wily nobleman since the hit series’ first season in 2010 — that he gets regularly stopped by strangers desperate for a picture.
“I don’t mind. A lot of my pictures have been taken, that’s why I have become very famous everywhere,” he said.
Not only are Khan and Dinklage’s faces strikingly similar, they are also the same height at around 135 cms (4 ft 5in).
Photographs of the pair have unsurprisingly made their way onto social media showing the doppelgangers side-by-side.
“Wherever I go, someone says to me: ‘Sir, who is this man with you on Facebook’, I say that he is my friend. ‘He looks like you’. I tell them he is my brother. It’s not a bad thing,” said Khan.
The television series has won 47 Emmys — more than any other fictional show in history — along with a Golden Globe for Dinklage, 49, for best supporting actor in 2012.
A much anticipated final series is set to premiere on April 17.
Khan works at a small Kashmiri restaurant down a narrow line in Rawalpindi, serving customers hearty dishes such as mutton and spinach curries.
Owner Malik Aslam Pervez described him as a hard-worker — and also a drawcard for the eatery.
“When he takes a day off or gets sick, people look for him and ask where did he go? They get upset. They love him. There is always a crowd here but it has boomed because of him,” he said.
Born in Mansehra in northern Pakistan, Khan says he would love to meet Dinklage, describing him as a friend and brother.
“I love him very much, he is my friend... he is my height so I like him a lot,” said Khan.
For customers, seeing Tyrion Lannister in the flesh is also a thrill.
“When I saw him, I’m happy, I feel that I met with Lannister in real [life],” said Zain Hadri, 20.
“Game of Thrones” tells the story of noble families vying for control of the Iron Throne, all the while keeping one eye on the “White Walkers” leading hordes of the undead toward an invasion from the North.