What a great moment it was when a Pakistani short film has been nominated for the prestigious Academy Awards and even greater moment when it manages to win. Mixed feeling about the topic of the documentary being a bitter reality in Pakistan yet proud moment for the country to have been recognised at international level.
Co-director Daniel Junge and Pakistani Journalist and documentary Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s “Saving Face” won the Oscar at the 84th Academy Awards. She is the Second Pakistani (but first woman in Pakistan) to win the prestigious award after Mir Zafar Ali (who won the Oscar in a team effort as visual effects specialist and artist, yet unknown to many).
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is internationally renowned documentary filmmaker as she has won an Emmy for her documentary, Pakistan: Children of the Taliban in 2010. She holds the title of being the first non-American to win the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.
In her proud Oscar acceptance speech Sharmeen said:
”To all the women in Pakistan who are working for change, don’t give up on your dreams. This is for you.”
‘Saving Face’ is the story about acid attack survivors and features the incredible reconstructive surgery work of British Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad to rehabilitate the woman victims of acid violence in Pakistan. The documentary film is set to air on HBO on March 8, while Junge and Chinoy also plan to show it in Pakistan and rumors are that it will be aired on Geo TV.
Although it is a fact that it will make very little difference if lots of people in the West see and praise this documentary. The real achievement is to make more people in Pakistan aware of how horrible it is. As after slumdog millionaire winning an Oscar did nothing for changing slums in Mumbai, I hope this effort of Sharmeen to bring acid violence to an end will not go down the drain and people in Pakistan should dare to take the real stand to eradicate such violence.
People of Pakistan respect and congratulate her on the achievement and hoping more power and courage for woman of Pakistan.