A Pakistani filmmaker has been nominated for an Oscar for the first time in the event’s history for this year’s Academy Awards, scheduled for February 26 in Los Angeles.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is an Oscar hopeful for the newly released documentary Saving Face, a harrowing film about acid burn victims she directed.
Her film documents two women attacked with acid and their struggle for justice and healing. It is the first film shot in Pakistan and directed by a Pakistani to be nominated for an Oscar. The film was nominated in the “Documentary, short films” category.
The annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles is renowned for celebrating Hollywood’s finest, and the red carpet with all its glamour is synonymous with this most prestigious of film award ceremonies.
“My chances of winning the Oscar, to be honest I haven’t thought about that yet, but if 180 million people start praying in Pakistan, that might actually become a reality. There are five films, so the competition is fierce this year. Some very good films are up against us, 1/8so 3/8 fingers and toes are crossed,” said Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Oscar Nominee.
Saving Face explores the consequences of an alarming crime, acid burn attacks, that is shockingly prevalent in Pakistani society.
In most cases, women are victims of the attacks carried out by men, and are sometimes known as “honor” crimes, ravaging the victims in response to their turning down of marriage proposals, or any perceived rebuttal of male advances. The consequences are usually devastating.
“The minute I saw the image of the first woman with her face completely melted off, I was enraged. In most of my films, the topics are centered around my rage, you know, me being angry about something that’s taking place in society, and this was something that was horrifying, beyond horrifying. To have a single act of throwing acid ruins a woman’s life completely, and she has to live with that, and look at herself in the mirror every day and that becomes her reality. And I wanted to capture that for people to realize how terrible this is,” said Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.
Saving Face is one of a number of documentaries produced by the Pakistani director, who’s well known for tackling hard hitting subjects in films such as “Pakistan’s Taliban Generation” – for which she won an Emmy.Saving Face