The 85th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, and at least one nominated foreign film director will be in attendance. CNN reported on Wednesday, Feb. 20 that Emad Burnat, the first Palestinian to ever be nominated for the prestigious award, was detained by United States officials after arriving at Los Angeles International Airport.
Burnat was detained along with his wife and 8-year-old son for nearly two hours, while authorities could verify the legitimacy of Burnat's Academy Awards invitation. Burnat works as a farmer in the village of Bil'in, and his documentary film "5 Broken Cameras" follows the resistance against building Israeli settlements and a wall which would separate farmers from farmland. The film gets its title from the five cameras Burnat used which were all broken during filming.
Documentary filmmaker Michael Moore posted about the situation on Twitter, saying, "Apparently the Immigration & Customs officers couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee. Emad texted me for help." Another tweet reads, "After 1.5 hrs, they decided to release him & his family & told him he could stay in LA for the week & go to the Oscars. Welcome to America."