Syrian director Feras Fayyad ‘denied US visa’ before Oscars

Just weeks before the 92nd edition of the Academy Awards are set to take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, one of its Oscar-shortlisted nominees, Syrian filmmaker Feras Fayyad, has supposedly been denied entry into the United States.

The director, whose recent film “The Cave” was shortlisted in the Documentary Feature category, claims that he was barred from entering the US due to visa issues in a lengthy text uploaded to his official Facebook page.

“I hold a Syrian passport and I am currently living in exile in Copenhagen, Denmark… I was meant to be in the United States right now, but instead I am stuck because the visa I need to enter United States has not been granted to me,” Fayyad wrote.

“It’s not my choice to born in Syria. I’m a filmmaker and all what I want is the opportunity to tell this story in person,” he continued, adding that he is unable to attend a number of screenings currently happening for the Oscar shortlists.

“It’s not fair to be away and lose my opportunity to share my story that comes from my soul and my pain and my determination to fight for my right to express and tell stories about the devastating experiences that I face with my people every day,” he wrote.

He concluded the post by urging people to go watch his film so that he may feel less “left behind.”

It’s not the first time the director, who made history when his documentary “Last Men in Aleppo” was nominated for an Academy Award, and his team have encountered visa-related issues. Last year, the producer on Fayyad’s Oscar-nominated film was initially refused entry to the US due to the short-lived “travel ban,” but was granted a last-minute visa just days before the award’s ceremony.

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