Palestinian Filmmaker Detained, Threatened with Deportation on His Way to the Oscars

Emad Burnat, the Academy Award-nominated director of 5 Broken Cameras. Emad Burnat, the first Palestinian filmmaker nominated for an Oscar, was detained on Tuesday night at Los Angeles International Airport as he and his family traveled to attend the Academy Awards.

Filmmaker Michael Moore, a chamption of Burnat's film 5 Broken Cameras and a governor of the Academy's documentary branch, was the first to report about the incident.

According to Moore, Brunat, his wife and their 8-year-old son were placed in a holding area and accused of not having a proper invitation to the Oscars. Moore tweeted Burnat and his family were threatened with being deported, and that officials couldn't understand how a Palestinian could be nominated for an Oscar.

Burnat was released after questioning, according to authorities.

Here's how Moore told the story, assembeled by Mondoweiss:

5 Broken Cameras is the story of a yearslong struggle by residents of the Palestinian village Bil'in to wrest their village lands back from Israel's military.

The title refers to the number of cameras that the main protagonist, Palestinian filmmaker Emad Burnat, had broken by Israeli forces as he sought to film weekly demonstrations against the military. Residents were protesting the seizure of about half the village lands to construct a separation barrier running through parts of the West Bank.

The $400,000 documentary was made with contributions from Israeli and French government film funds. It is the latest in a series of well-received movies that are highly critical of Israeli government policies toward the Palestinians, yet also funded with state money.

"To live in a small town, small village, and just to be traveling around the world, to many countries and many festivals and to get many awards, it’s very exciting," Burnat recently told The Hollywood Reporter. "This was important for me, you know I didn’t expect that the film would be very successful and I didn’t expect the success. It’s not just for me, the success, the success is for my village and my people in Palestine."

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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