Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wins First Oscar for Pakistan

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first Pakistani filmmaker to earn an Academy Award with her film Saving Face.

In a moving acceptance speech, Sharmeen dedicated the award to the women of Pakistan. “All the women in Pakistan working for change, don’t give up on your dreams, this is for you,” she said.

Sharmeen, who has directed several documentary films, won an International Emmy Award in 2010 for her documentary Pakistan’s Taliban’s Generation.

Saving Face, which the Karachi-based filmmaker has co-directed with Daniel Junge, depicts the life of a British Pakistani plastic surgeon who donates his time to heal acid victims in Pakistan. The film also documents the journey of these women who come to terms with the violence in their lives and how they fight against all odds to learn to live again. This documentary closely follows the survivors of acid burn attacks and the role of parliamentarians that are actively involved in passing legislation against the attackers.

The film is set to be released in March this year.

Here is a list of the rest of films that were also nominated in the “Documentary (Short Subject)” category:

– The Barber of Birmingham: Foot Soldier of the Civil Rights Movement: Robin Fryday and Gail Dolgin.
– God Is the Bigger Elvis: Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson.
– Incident in New Baghdad: James Spione.
– The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom: Lucy Walker and Kira Carstensen.

About Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy 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.

Sharmeen was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan and received a bachelors degree from Smith College and went on to complete two masters degrees from Stanford University.

Click HERE to learn more about Sharmeen and her films.


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