In this Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2019 photo, Palestinian actor and playwright Ali Abu Yaseen, 55, gives an interview in his home at the Shati refugee camp in Gaza City. A new documentary called “Gaza” is hitting the screens at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival this week, providing a colorful glimpse of life in the blockaded Hamas-ruled territory. But one of its main subjects, Abu Yaseen, won’t be attending the gathering due to the very circumstances depicted in the film. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Trapped in Gaza, star of Sundance doc misses film festival

January 30, 2019 - 11:27 am

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A new documentary called "Gaza" is hitting the screens at the prestigious Sundance Film Festival this week, providing a colorful glimpse of life in the blockaded Hamas-ruled territory.

But one of its main subjects, Gaza actor and playwright Ali Abu Yaseen, won't be attending the gathering due to the very circumstances depicted in the film.

Abu Yaseen had hoped to make his first-ever trip to the U.S. to take part in the festival. But the continued closure of Gaza's border with Egypt, and Hamas' bureaucratic inefficiency, made it impossible for him to reach Cairo in time to receive a visa from the American Embassy needed to travel to Utah.

After missing Tuesday's premiere, Abu Yaseen has all but given up hope of reaching Utah. The film's final screening is Saturday.

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