“The White Helmets” is nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, but several key members of the team will not be represented at tonight’s ceremony. Yesterday saw the news that Khaled Khateeb, the film’s cinematographer, was denied access to the country, and now the Syria Civil Defence Force itself has announced that it will not be attending either.
Read the group’s statement below:
“The Syria Civil Defence will not be attending the Oscars in Los Angeles.
“Raed Saleh, Head of the Syria Civil Defence is the holder of US visa. Raed was planning to attend but can not make it, the intense air strikes across the country mean he must focus on work inside Syria.
“Khaled Khatib, a Syria Civil Defence volunteer and cameraman on the film, was due to attend. Unfortunately Khaled Khatib was not able to travel to the Oscars due to his passport being cancelled by the Syrian regime, despite having been issued a US visa specifically to attend the awards ceremony.
“The Syria Civil Defence are grateful for the platform the film ‘The White Helmets’ is providing for their humanitarian message to reach around the world.
“The Syria Civil Defence wants to thank all the people around the world that have sent messages of support for their Oscar nomination.”