July Issue 2019

By | Newsliners | Published 5 years ago

Halfway into 2019 and Pakistanis from different fields are already making waves across international platforms, winning awards for their contributions to the arts, education and journalism.

First on the long list of names – Ahad Raza Mir, whose ‘devilish and dangerous’ portrayal of Hamlet at the Vertigo Studio Theatre in Anna Cummer’s adaptation of the Shakespearean tragedy won him the Betty Mitchell Award for Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a drama. Named after Dr Betty Mitchell, a pioneer of Calgary’s theatrical community, the award aims to recognise and celebrate excellent work in Calgary’s professional theatre community.

Indus Blues, directed by Jawad Sharif, has also been on a winning spree since last year, and now in 2019, it has bagged the Best Documentary Feature and Best Cinematography Awards at the Jaipur International Film Festival, where the audience thoroughly enjoyed it for its cultural connection to Rajasthan. It also won the Best Documentary Feature Award at the Mind the Indie Film festival (MTIFF) in Poldiv, Bulgaria. Journalist Cyril Almedia, who had a tough year following an exclusive story about civil-military leadership meetings, was recognised by the International Press Institute for his “critical coverage of militancy in Pakistan” and presented with the 71st World Press Freedom Hero Award in a ceremony in Geneva. One of the nation’s favourite qawwali singers, Rahat Fateh Ali Khan received an honorary doctorate degree by the Oxford University.   

SABAQ, a low-cost education technology initiative, is among 11 other finalists for the empowering people Award (epAward) 2019 by the Siemens Foundation selected from 800 entries by 86 countries. The finalists for the award will all compete for the top three positions in Cairo next month. SABAQ aims to increase access to education for children of low-income backgrounds and has reached over 100,000 children since its inception in 2015. Lastly, a consistent source of pride for Pakistan, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s work has reached another prestigious international platform. Chinoy’s informative animated short Aagahi, which aims to educate Pakistani women about the local judicial system and their rights within the Pakistani legal framework, has been nominated at the 66th Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, which explores the value of creativity in branded communication and celebrates new ideas that could inspire the next generation of global leaders.

A journalism graduate, Zoha's core areas of interest include human and gender rights issues, alongside which she also writes about gender representation in the media and its impact on society.