LOS ANGELES (AP) – The Latest on the Academy Awards, which are being bestowed Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood (all times local):

2:35 p.m.

“Last Men in Aleppo” director Firas Fayyad says that art is more powerful than the voices of Vladimir Putin or Donald Trump.
Fayyad’s documentary about a group of first responders in the White Helmets and the Syrian civil war is nominated for best documentary at the 90th Academy Awards Sunday. The film is up against “Faces Places,” “Abacus: Small Enough to Jail,” “Icarus” and “Strong Island.”

Fayyed said Sunday on the Oscars red carpet said that he is honored to be there and that it’s an important space to share this story. He said it was one of the most powerful platforms in the world. He has been openly critical of Russia and Putin while promoting the film.

The filmmakers had faced some visa issues and were unsure if they were going to make it to the Oscars, but access came through for Fayyed, his producer and his cinematographer. Syria is one of the countries included in a travel ban.

– Nicole Evatt ((at)NicoleEvatt) and Lindsey Bahr ((at)ldbahr)

1:30 p.m.

It’s an hour before the stars start arriving on the Oscars red carpet, and final preparations are in full swing.

E! red carpet host Giuliana Rancic posed for photos in front of fan bleachers wearing a flowing yellow dress. Journalists worked to get into their positions on the carpet, some snapping their last selfies before the show. The carpet is scheduled to open at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

Fans cheered as they recorded a well-wishes message to host Jimmy Kimmel, who returns as Oscars host for the second time.

Two workers from Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant carried a huge tray of food that will be served inside the post-show Governors Ball, including chocolates and lox shaped like Oscars statuettes. Puck followed the platter, throwing snacks to cheering fans in the bleachers and saying, “Alright, who wants an Oscar?”

A massive tent was erected over the carpet to protect it from two days of rain. But the skies had cleared Sunday and temperatures were the low 60s, although it was considerably hotter for fans and journalists under the tent.

6 a.m.

The (right) envelope, please.

The Oscars will hope to live down their most infamous blunder at the 90th Academy Awards. The ceremony begins at 8 p.m. EST. But more than redemption is on the line Sunday. The ceremony promises to be rife with references to the (hash)MeToo movement sparked by the Harvey Weinstein revelations.

Host Jimmy Kimmel will be tasked with not just ensuring the correct winners are read Sunday, but also with confronting a traumatic year for Hollywood. No dress-code protest is planned by Time’s Up organizers, as happened at January’s Golden Globes.

The night’s top honor, best picture, is considered especially up for grabs this year, with contenders including “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” `’The Shape of Water” and “Get Out.”

 

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