Oscars 2016: Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's 'A Girl in the River' Nominated
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy — Karachi born Pakistani journalist and filmmaker who won an Academy Award and two Emmy Awards for her documentaries Pakistan’s Taliban Generation in 2010 and Saving Face in 2012 — is in headlines again.
According to the reports, her documentary, ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ has been nominated in the Best Documentary – Short subject category for the 88th Academy Awards more popularly known as The Oscars.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Oscars 2016 Nomination
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences posted on its Twitter account and told to the Pakistani women that they are not far enough from the world. “Congrats to our Documentary Short Subject nominees #Oscars #OscarNoms”, it captioned the image which also shows the name of ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ written with golden words.
Excited and joy Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy aslo posted on her Twitter account, “#Pakistan we are going to the#oscars.” Don’t know whether “A Girl in the River” will win an Oscar in its category, short subject documentary, but it is already making a difference.
The 37-year-old acclaimed filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy — who has also launched an Anti-Honor Killing Campaign, The Price of Forgiveness inspired by her courage and the countless victims of honor crimes in Pakistan — has become a social worker in Pakistan.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has congratulated Sharmeen for the Academy Award nomination. Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement, “Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has invited Ms. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy to the Prime Minister’s House for the first screening of her film nominated for the Academy Awards. The country’s leading opinion makers from different segments of society, academics, and intellectuals will also be invited to the screening.”
Sharmeen told Asia Society when she was asked that what was her reaction to the Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif citing Saba’s case and Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, “I was surprised to see the prime minister’s bold and gracious statement after A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness was nominated for an Academy Award”.
“I began making documentary films when I was only 21 years old, and the landscape has changed exponentially as research is now more easily available. There has been a positive shift towards filmmaking now, and there are a lot more independent filmmakers today — all of whom share stories that challenge the traditional narrative”, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said when she asked about the cultural challenges of doing documentary films in Pakistan.
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
A Girl in the River — which follows the life of an 18-year-old girl who is a survivor of an honour killing attempt — is a joint production of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC) Films and Home Box Office (HBO).
Each year, honor killing is a pressing issue in Pakistan as more than a 1000 women fall prey to this practice usually at the hands of their own family members. This time, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has made film on the a real-life 19-year-old Pakistani woman named Saba Qaiser whose odyssey began when she fell in love against her family’s wishes and ran off to marry her boyfriend.
After Jami’s Moor made it to the long list of Academy Award nominations, acclaimed filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness has been shortlisted for Oscars nominations in the category of Best Documentary – Short Subject. The documentary has been nominated with 9 other films in this category.
A Girl in the River, which is a joint production of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (SOC) Films and Home Box Office (HBO) follows the life of an 18-year-old girl who is a survivor of an honour killing attempt. Honour killing is a pressing issue in Pakistan as more than a 1000 women fall prey to this practice usually at the hands of their own family members, according to the International Honor Based Violence Awareness Group.
The film, which brings to light the plight of oppressed women, is very close to Sharmeen herself and set to air on HBO on March 7. It tells the story of Pakistani teenager Saba Qaiser, who survived an “honor killing” at the hands of her father and uncle after she ran away and got married against family wishes.
While talking about her Oscar nominated film, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy said, “A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness is a film that resonates with me deeply. It’s a film about the kinds of choices we women have in the world and how our lives are impacted by the decisions taken by others.”
The film is a piece of journalism and art, she acknowledges that it first and foremost was conceived as an agent for change. “I was very clear that the film would be used as a vehicle to talk about honor killings in Pakistan,” Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy says.
“I can’t wave a magic wand and change things, but I can provide something that can be used as a lobbying tool, as a vehicle to show ‘this is why we shouldn’t have honor killings.’”