Emad Burnat, the Palestinian filmmaker who co-directed the Academy Award-nominated documentary film 5 Broken Cameras, was reportedly detained by immigration officials at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) — as he and his family tried to enter the United States to attend Sunday's Oscar ceremony.
According to fellow filmmaker Michael Moore, who tweeted Burnat's ordeal, the Academy Award-nominated director and his family were eventually released after spending 90 minutes being held by immigration and even threatened with deportation.
"Emad, his wife & 8-yr old son were placed in a holding area and told they didn't have the proper invitation on them to attend the Oscars," read one of Moore's tweets. "Although he produced the Oscar invite nominees receive, that wasn't good enough & he was threatened with being sent back to Palestine," said another tweet from Moore who also decried the fact that the Immigration & Customs officers "couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be an Oscar nominee."
Moore also tweeted about supposedly calling Academy officials, who in turn called lawyers. Eventually, Burnat and his family were released and told they could stay in Los Angeles for a week, the time necessary to attend the Oscar ceremony. "It's nothing I'm not already used to," said Burnat according to Moore. "When u live under occupation, with no rights, this is a daily occurrence," he concluded.