So far, Roma’s awards season has been aa celebration. Alfonso Cuaron’s emotional tribute to his childhood has been picking up accolades left and right, and recently led all films (well, tied with The Favourite) for the most Oscar nominations, with 10. But the film finally hit its first obstacle on the road to Oscar glory, as a visa issue for one of the film’s stars is threatening to be a blemish on the upcoming Academy Awards evening.
Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero says in a new interview with Quien that he has been denied a visa to enter the United States three separate times, preventing him from attending any press events on behalf of Roma. Guerrero plays an important role in the drama. He is Fermin, the man who impregnates Cleo (Oscar nominee Yalitza Aparicio), and then abandons her.
Jorge Antonio Guerrero does not know why he keeps getting denied visas to enter the U.S. He says he first started trying to obtain a visa early last year, but it wasn’t even on behalf of Roma. Initially, it was just for tourism. However, as the film gained in popularity, Guerrero says he tried again to gain access – even with the help of Netflix, who wanted him to attend events like the Golden Globes and, eventually, the Oscars. However, he routinely has been denied.
This is not the first time that a talent has been unable to attend the Academy Awards because of travel issues tied to the current political climate. In recent years, cinematographer Khaled Khateeb wasn’t able to witness his documentary The White Helmets win Best Documentary Short last year because of the travel ban that’s in place in the U.S. Additionally, Iranian director Asghar Farhadi revealed that he would skip the Oscars because of the existing travel bans, and his movie The Salesman went on to win Best Foreign Language Film.
Jorge Antonio Guerrero isn’t giving up hope. In the Quien interview, he admits that there is a process in place, and with Netflix’s assistance, he’s still hoping to be at the Oscars to support him film, and cheer on his nominated co-stars, including Yalitza Aparicio and Marina de Tavira.
Roma could have a very big night on February 24. Some argue it’s the frontrunner for Best Picture, having picked up 10 total nominations including Picture and Director. Alfonso Cuaron made history with the nominations when he became the first person to receive a Director and Cinematography nomination. And, of course, Roma’s success continues to be a win for Netflix, as the streaming giant makes waves in the awards season.
We will see what happens with Guerrero’s visa, but it’d be great if he could attend the Oscars alongside his creative collaborators, and possibly celebrate a few key wins for the movie on Oscar night.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.