Academy Voices Solidarity With 'Last Men in Aleppo' Team Prevented From Traveling to Oscars

Courtesy of Grasshopper Film
'Last Men in Aleppo'

The documentary chronicles the story of those on the frontlines of the Syrian civil war.

The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has voiced its support of 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 Tuesday in a statement. 

Abeed, who currently resides in Turkey, will not be able to come to the U.S. after being denied a travel visa due to restrictions placed on eight predominantly Muslim countries by the Trump administration. Along with the filmmaker, the doc's subject, White Helmets founding member Mahmoud Al-Hattar, will also not be able to attend the Oscars.

Last Men in Aleppo, which documents those on the frontlines of the Syrian civil war, will be vying for the best documentary honor at the March 4 ceremony. 

Oscar-winning Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, who was nominated in the best foreign-language film Oscar category for The Salesman, did not attend last year's Academy Awards in protest of President Donald Trump’s policy. Additionally, 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. 

Read the Academy's full statement below.

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. 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.