[January 24th 2011]: Saving Face, directed by Pakistani investigative documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Daniel Junge has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subject as announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.
The film chronicles the work of acclaimed British Pakistani plastic surgeon, Dr Mohammad Jawad as he travelled to Pakistan and performed reconstructive surgery on survivors of acid violence.
Acid violence, an extreme form of physical abuse, is systemically underreported in Pakistan; official figures state that a hundred cases of acid violence are filed every year, though it is estimated that the actual figure is far greater.This is caused in part by structural inequalities that make it difficult for women to access the judicial system in addition to longstanding cultural practices that support gender discrimination. Saving Face is an account of such violence told by survivors through their personal journeys of endurance, recovery and reconciliation. Saving Face is equally a story about the ways in which women continue to struggle for justice in Pakistan as it is about their resilience and unwavering strength in overcoming difficult circumstances. The observational documentary was filmed entirely in Pakistan, primarily in the Seraiki belt in addition to Rawalpindi, Karachi and Islamabad.
Speaking about this unique achievement, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy said: “I am speechless. An Academy Award nomination is stuff dreams are made of. It has reaffirmed my belief it doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, if you put quality work out there, it will be appreciated. I hope I can make Pakistan proud by bringing home an Oscar.”
Renowned for producing hard hitting character driven content, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy continues to set new standards for documentary films that address cultural and political inequality. With a formidable list of awards under her belt including a coveted Emmy Award for her film ‘Pakistan’s Taliban Generation’, this Oscar Nomination comes as her most prestigious career achievement yet.
Saving Face is set to air on America’s premier television cable network HBO, on March 8, 2012.