A documentary film White Helmets- which features the rescue group that operates in rebel held parts of Syria- has won the Oscar for best short documentary.
The 40-minute Netflix film gives an insight into the day-to-day functioning of the rescue group and features the risky rescue operation carried out by the group along the war-torn Syria.
Director Orlando von Einsiedel, in his Oscar speech, urged the audience to stand up and cal, for an end to six-year long civil in Syria.
The director also read out a statement from White Helmets founder Raed al-Saleh, in which he thanked the academy.
“We are so grateful that this film has highlighted our work to the world. Our organisation is guided by a verse from the Quran: to save one life is to save all of humanity,” Saleh’s statement said.
Saleh said the film is a “platform for the voices of Syrian children and women trapped under the rubble as a result of the airstrikes artillery shelling. He further added that it is for the voices of thousands of displaced Syrians who have been forced from their homes. and a tribute to those who risk their own lives to rescue them from that rubble.
Raed al-Saleh and the movie’s cinematographer Khaled Khatib, were scheduled to attend the awards but Saleh was unable to leave because of the extreme intensity of airstrikes in Syria and Khalid was denied the visa.
According to Associated Press, the 21-year-old cinematographer was denied entry by the Trump administration because Homeland Security found “derogatory” information about him.
White Helmets is a volunteer civil defense organisation that currently operates in parts of rebel-controlled Syria. The organisation has over 3,000 volunteers operating from 111 local civil defence centers across 8 provincial directorates.