When "White Helmets" took the Oscar for greatest documentary short, filmmakers Joanna Natasegara and Orlando von Einsiedel read a statement from the film's star, Syria Civil Defense head Raed Saleh, who was not present.
Backstage afterward, von Einsiedel explained Saleh's absence, as properly as that of "White Helmets" cinematographer Khaled Khateeb.
Saleh stayed behind in Syria, although Khateeb, von Einsiedel said, was unable to attend due to the fact of an incident with his visa.
The Connected Press reported on Saturday that U.S. officials said they identified "derogatory information" about Khateeb and would not let him into the nation.
"Well, Raed Saleh, he is the leader of the White Helmets, he couldn't come in the end mainly because ... Syrian violence has really escalated and he does life-saving perform and he decided in the finish, his time was much better placed to do that," von Einsiedel stated. "[Cinematographer Khaled Khateeb] had a U.S. visa. He tried to board a plane and he wasn't capable to come, so we're really sad about that."
"White Helmets" focuses on the group of volunteer rescuers who work in war-torn Syria and Turkey. On stage, von Einsiedel read a statement from Saleh that invited listeners "to operate on the side of life, to quit the bloodshed in Syria and about the globe."
Backstage, Natasegara said that the Oscar win was "bittersweet" for the reason that of Khateeb's absence, but said that she spoke to him immediately soon after the win, and he had a optimistic message.
"He's thrilled," she mentioned, "due to the fact like us, he just desires the world to know about the White Helmets."
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