Life&Culture

Oscars 2017: Syrian cinematographer barred from entering US

Oscars 2017: Syrian cinematographer barred from entering US

Commenting on The White Helmets' victory at Sunday's Oscars, its head Raed Saleh expressed gratitude for the recognition bestowed on the group by the award.

The White Helmets did not have a representative at the Los Angeles Oscars ceremony. The AP reported the Department of Homeland Security blocked Khateeb from entering the country, citing "derogatory information" about the filmmaker.

Holding up their Oscar statuettes on their way to the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, they told the BBC that they were "thrilled" for The White Helmets, "the heroes at the heart of our film".

According to a reports appearing in The Guardian, Syria was one of the seven countries targeted by the President Donald Trump when temporarily blocking Muslims from entering the US.

"The White Helmets", a Syrian film, took home the Oscar in the Best Documentary Short category on Sunday, though one of its cinematographers was blocked from entering the USA for the ceremony.

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"It's very easy for these guys to feel they're forgotten", he said. "He had a valid USA visa but he wasn't able to travel on the plane". "It brings it to an audience that otherwise might not have any idea about our film. we're really proud to be able to use that platform". "This award is for all the volunteers of the White Helmets and all people around the world who are working for peace".

"I tried and it didn't work, " Khateeb said of his hopes to attend Sunday's ceremony, where the film was named best documentary short.

"I plan to travel to L.A. for the Oscars, where the film is nominated for an award", Khateeb previously said.

"I do this work because I believe if the world understands the suffering of my people, they will be moved to stop it, to stand with us on the side of life", he said. "If I can not enter the U.S.", Khateeb wrote, "I will not give up: we know that we have many friends in the U.S., that there are people that share our humanitarian values".

The duo captured interviews and footage of the White Helmets at a training camp in Turkey where they taught white helmet Khaled Khatib, 21, advanced cinematography techniques and upgraded the camera he had previously been using.

Khaled Khatib worked as a cameraman on the Oscar-nominated doco The White Helmets.


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