March Issue 2012

By | Arts & Culture | Movies | People | Published 12 years ago

On February 26, as all of Pakistan watched with bated breath,Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy garnered the coveted Oscar statuette for her documentary, Saving Face. The occasion marked a cornerstone in Pakistan’s history as Sharmeen became the first ever Pakistani to win the prestigious award. As she took the stage along with her co-director of the short film, Daniel Junge, who after a few words generously gave the ‘Pakistani’ the floor, Sharmeen spoke of the heroes that had made the film possible: Zakia and Rukhsana, the two acid victims featured in the documentary, whose “bravery and resilience in the face of adversity is admirable,” and the doctor and others like him who have worked tirelessly to heal the victims and champion their cause.

She also paid tribute to other Pakistani women by not only dedicating the award to those of her sorority who are fighting for change in Pakistan, but also by showcasing the talent of female Pakistani designers. For the red carpet and awards ceremony, Sharmeen donned a Bunto Kazmi creation with custom-made jewellery by Kiran Aman. For other Oscar-related events, Sharmeen wore outfits by Sania Maskatiya and Sana Safinaz, and jewellery by Sherezade Rahimtoola and Sara Taseer Shoaib.

While the multi-tasking Chinoy — filmmaker, founder and guiding light of CAP, the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, wife and mother — could well rest on her laurels, she has instead already launched a campaign to create awareness about acid victims on the documentary’s website.

And while that will inevitably keep her busy enough, she will still have to make time to receive the myriad of awards, honouring her achievement, proposed by the prime minister, MQM supremo Altaf Hussain and assorted public and private sector organisations.

Way to go, girl!

This article was originally published in the March issue of Newsline under the headline “Capping it All.” Look out for the latest issue of Newsline at newsstands across Pakistan.