Academy voices solidarity with ‘Last Men …’ team

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Los Angeles, Feb 21 (IANS) The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has voiced its support to the filmmaking team behind the Oscar-nominated documentary “Last Men in Aleppo” that will not be able to attend the awards ceremony due to travel restrictions.

“As supporters of filmmakers – and the human rights of all people – around the globe, we stand in solidarity with director Feras Fayyad as well as the film’s producer Kareem Abeed,” the Academy said in a statement to hollywoodreporter.com on Tuesday.

Abeed, who currently resides in Turkey, will not be able to come to the US after being denied a travel visa due to restrictions placed on eight predominantly Muslim countries by the Trump administration.

Along with the filmmaker, the documents’ subject, White Helmets founding member Mahmoud Al-Hattar, will also not be able to attend the Oscars.

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“Last Men in Aleppo”, which documents those on the frontlines of the Syrian civil war, will be vying for the Best Documentary honour at the March 4 ceremony to be held here.

Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who was nominated in the Best Foreign-Language Film for “The Salesman”, did not attend last year’s Academy Awards to protest US President Donald Trump’s policy.

Khaled Khateeb, the Syrian cinematographer behind last year’s documentary short Oscar nominee “The White Helmets”, was barred from entering the country. Both Farhadi and Khateeb’s films went on to win in their respective categories.

–IANS

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