Pakistani Filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Brings Home the First Oscar!

February 27, 2012

Acclaimed Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and her film “Saving Face” has won the Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subject for the prestigious Academy Award.

The documentary which will soon be aired on HBO in March 2012 is a chronicle of a British Pakistani plastic surgeon, aiding victims of acid attacks in Pakistan. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Daniel Junge, Saving Face has been shot entirely in Pakistan.

While Daniel Junge was previously nominated for another one of his documentaries, The Last Campaign Of Governor Booth Gardner (2009), this was Chinoy’s first Oscar nomination.

Chinoy was still pursuing the undergraduate degree in political sciences at Smith College when the tragic attacks of 9/11 took place. She was already writing for couple of newspapers back then but switched to filming to provide more evocative account of realities.

When asked about the film, Chinoy said

We did have to struggle against a mindset that accepted such extreme forms of violence in Pakistan. The Seraiki Belt, a cotton growing in the province of Punjab, has some of the lowest levels of education and highest levels of poverty in Pakistan. Prevailing mindset violence against women is acceptable and it is difficult to work with such people,

This is not only Chinoy’s first Oscar, but also the first Oscar won by a Pakistani filmmaker.

Watch her give her Acceptance Speech at Oscars!

“..and to all the women in Pakistan who are working for change, don’t give up, this is for you.” – Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.

Watch the behind the scene video!