Syrian Cinematographer of Oscar-Nominated Doc Blocked From Attending Academy Awards

Khaled Khateeb, whose film 'The White Helmets' is nominated for best documentary short, has been barred from flying to Los Angeles by U.S. immigration authorities

Khaled Khateeb Syrian Cinematographer of Oscar-Nominated Doc Blocked From Attending Academy Awards Source : Press
U.S. immigration authorities are denying entry to a 21-year-old Syrian cinematographer who worked on a documentary about his nation’s civil war, The White Helmets, that has been nominated for an Academy Award. According to internal Trump administration correspondence seen by The Associated Press, the Department of Homeland Security has decided at the last minute to block Khaled Khateeb from traveling to Los Angeles for the Oscars. Khateeb was scheduled to arrive Saturday in Los Angeles on a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul. But his plans have been upended after U.S. officials reported finding "derogatory information" regarding Khateeb. The White Helmets is a 40-minute long documentary that has been nominated for and Oscar in the category of Best Documentary Short. The film focuses on the work and endeavors of the rescue workers who risks their lives to save Syrians that are affected by the civil war. Many of the White Helmets have been killed by the Syrian President Bashar Assad’s air force. Notably The White Helmets were also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, last year. The White Helmets includes emblematic scenes of the deadly 6-year-old conflict: people digging through destroyed homes looking for survivors, at constant risk of "double tap" attacks that target first responders after they've arrived at the scene of a strike. Khateeb had been issued a visa to attend the ceremony with Hollywood's biggest stars. But Turkish authorities detained him this week, according to the internal U.S. government correspondence, and he suddenly needed a passport waiver from the United States to enter the country. The correspondence indicated he would not receive such a waiver. There was no explanation in the correspondence for why Turkey detained Khateeb.