Best Documentary Feature Oscar nominee “Last Men in Aleppo” recently made history by becoming the first film from a Syrian directing-producing team to garner Academy recognition. Yet for the filmmakers — who have just learned that Syria will not expedite the travel visas of producer Kareem Abeed and star Mahmoud Al-Hattar — a pallor has been cast over the March 4 ceremony.
“When we are banned, then the freedom of expression is banned,” the film’s director, Feras Fayyad, told IndieWire by phone on February 14, calling the situation “very sad and unfair.”
Read More:‘Last Men in Aleppo’: Oscar-Nominated Director Feras Fayyad on Risking His Life and Resisting a Russian Smear Campaign
Despite the urging of the film’s marketing team and Academy membership and awards manager Tom Oyer, March 2 has been designated as the visa interview date for Fayyad’s friend and producer, Abeed. While Abeed could theoretically be given permission to take an international journey, a flight to the States would prove tricker: President Trump’s Executive Order 13780, signed in March 2017, suspended new visa applications from those born …read more