Palestinian documentary filmmaker Emad Burnat, whose Oscar-nominated film 5 Broken Cameras received funding from PBS’s POV, was detained Feb. 20 at Los Angeles International Airport after arriving in the country for Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. The news that Burnat had been held for one and a half hours was first tweeted by friend and fellow documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.
Burnat later released a statement confirming that he and his family had been detained and threatened with deportation and that they had been forced to provide proof that he had been nominated for an Oscar.
“Although this was an unpleasant experience, this is a daily occurrence for Palestinians, every single day, throughout the West Bank,” Burnat said. “Ours was a very minor example of what my people face every day.”
5 Broken Cameras is the first Palestinian documentary to be nominated for an Oscar. It will also be screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York during the museum’s upcoming program celebrating the 25th anniversary of POV.