In a statement, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expressed solidarity with “Last Men in Aleppo” producer Kareem Abeed, who was denied a visa to travel to the United States to attend the Academy Awards on March 4 due to President Trump’s travel ban.
“Director Feras Fayyad and producer Kareem Abeed made history with ‘Last Men in Aleppo,’ the first Documentary Feature Oscar nominee from a Syrian directing-producing team,” the statement reads. “For 90 years, the Oscars have celebrated achievement in the art of filmmaking, which seeks to transcend borders and speak to audiences around the world, regardless of national, ethnic, or religious differences. As supporters of filmmakers — and the human rights of all people — around the globe, we stand in solidarity with Fayyad as well as the film’s producer Kareem Abeed, who was denied a visa to the United States to attend the Academy Awards on March 4.”
Last year, foreign-language film Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi protested the Academy Awards due to Trump’s policy. His film, “The Salesman,” ultimately won the Academy Award.
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Fayyad’s documentary focuses on the White Helmets, the search and rescue volunteer organization that has tried to save lives and respond to bombing attacks in the war-torn region. A short documentary about the group, Netflix’s “The White Helmets,” won an Oscar last year.
“Last Men in Aleppo” was nominated alongside “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Faces Places,” “Icarus,” and “Strong Island.”