SharmeenChinoy wins the Oscar for Pakistan
March 02, 2012
Pakistani filmmaker SharmeenObaid-Chinoy blazed onto world stage when her documentary "Saving Face" about acid attack victims won an Oscar award at the lavish Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood that is certain to help improve Pakistan's battered international image.
Actresses Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy presented the coveted award to co-directors Ms. Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge in the category of Best Documentary (Short) before a large gathering of top world artists on Sunday night, an event watched by hundreds of millions around the globe on television.
In her accepting speech, Ms. Obaid-Chinoy, dedicated the award to the courageous women of Pakistan."All the women in Pakistan working for change, don't give up on your dreams, this is for you," she said, holding up the award statuette as a resounding applause rang out in the packed hall.
SharmeenObaid-Chinoy’s documentary film is based on acid victims and their struggle to lead a normal life after the trauma. A lot has been written and said about the Pakistani director in the print and electronic media, and now we know a lot about her. Now that she has won an Oscar, this achievement is big enough for every Pakistani woman to be proud of.
It's being called "Pakistan's Oscar," but 33-year-old filmmaker SharmeenObaid-Chinoy will be the one bringing the award home.
The Karachi native's latest film, "Saving Face," which chronicles the lives of acid attacks victims in Pakistan and the doctor working to help them, made history Sunday night at the 84th Academy Awards by winning Pakistan's first Oscar ever. The film was co-directed by American filmmaker Daniel Junge, and will air on HBO on March 8th.
Obaid-Chinoy accepted the award for Documentary Short Subject on stage and dedicated it to "all the women in Pakistan who are working for change – don't give up on your dreams."
Sharmeen was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and received a bachelor’s degree from Smith College and went on to complete two master’s degree from Stanford University.
SharmeenObaidChinoy is an Emmy award winning documentary filmmaker. Her films include PAKISTAN’S TALIBAN GENERATION, which aired on PBS, Channel 4, CBC, SBS and Arte and was the recipient of the Alfred I Dupont Award as well as The Association for International Broadcasting award. Sharmeen has made over a dozen-multi award winning films in over 10 countries around the world and is the first non-American to be awarded the Livingston Award for best international reporting.
In 2007, Sharmeen was awarded the broadcast journalist of the year award in the UK by One World Media for her work in a series of documentary films for Channel 4, which included a film about xenophobia in South Africa THE NEW APARTHEID. Her other films have been awarded The Overseas Press Club Award, The American Women in Radio and Television Award, The Cine Golden Eagle award and the Banff Rockie Award.
I don’t know what SharmeenObaid-Chinoy wanted to be when she was a 10-year-old girl growing up in Karachi, but she ended up as a journalist, and bloody good she is at it too.
Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, March3, 2009