TOPSHOT - Winners for Best Documentary Short "The White Helmets" Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara address the audience on stage at the 89th Oscars on Feb. 26, 2017 in Hollywood, California. / AFP / Mark RALSTON
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A film about Syria's White Helmets – rescuers who risk their lives to help save civilians caught in the country's devastating war – took home the Oscar for best documentary short on Sunday.The Netflix-produced film, called simply "The White Helmets," was directed by Orlando von Einsiedel, and bested another short about the Syrian conflict, "Watani: My Homeland". Raed Saleh, leader of the rescue group, also was not able to attend but said in a statement that the White Helmets had saved the lives of more than 82,000 civilians.The White Helmets emerged in 2013, working to rescue civilians in rebel-held areas during the nearly six-year war.Syria's conflict started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests and has since spiraled into a complex war, killing more than 310,000 people and displacing over half the country's population.
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