A Syrian cinematographer, who worked on this year’s Academy Award nominee for best documentary short subject The White Helmets, has been barred by the US immigration authorities from entering the country. The 21-year-old cinematographer Khaled Khateeb, who was planning to join Raed Saleh, leader of the White Helmets Syrian rescue group and subject of Netflix’s Oscar-nominated documentary, was expected to arrive here a day before the ceremony, reported Deadline.
The Department of Homeland Security has decided to block Khateeb from the country after they obtained some alleged “derogatory” information about him. However, a spokesperson for the film said that the filmmakers will have no comment on the situation or do “any interviews until the red carpet event at the Oscars.”
The 40-minute documentary, produced by Joanna Natasegara and directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, focuses on the Nobel Peace Prize-nominated warriors, who have saved more than 60,000 civilian lives in war-torn Syria.
Last month it looked as if the Syrian filmmakers would be unable to get to the Oscars because of Trump’s executive order that barred entry to the United States for citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. U.S appeals court judges last week blocked Trump’s travel ban, but the Republican president has said he plans to issue a new order soon. Iranian director Asghar Farhadi and actress Taraneh Alidoosti, who stars in his foreign-language nominated film “The Salesman,” have said they will boycott the Academy Awards to protest Trump’s travel restrictions.