The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has expressed solidarity with the producer of “Last Men in Aleppo”, Kareem Abeed, who has been denied visa to the US for the Oscar ceremony. Abeed, who holds a Syrian passport and is living in Turkey, was denied visa on the grounds of Section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Abeed’s rejection means he will not be able to attend the ceremony. It comes in the wake of US President Donald Trump’s travel ban decision, which placed restrictions on Syria, as well as North Korea, Iran, Chad, Libya, Venezuela, and Yemen.
In a statement, the Academy voiced its support to makers of the “Last Men in Aleppo”, which has nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category of the Oscars. “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 obtained by The Hollywood Reporter said.
“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,” it added.
“Last Men in Aleppo” focuses on the White Helmets, a search and rescue volunteer organization that has tried to save lives and respond to bombing attacks in the war-torn country.
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