Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's documentary bags Oscar nomination

Published: January 14, 2016
'A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness' has been nominated for Best Documentary - Short subject category. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

'A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness' has been nominated for Best Documentary - Short subject category. PHOTO: PUBLICITY

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s 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.


The announcement was made earlier today by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, more popularly known as The Oscars, due to take place on February 28, 2016.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s A Girl in the River shortlisted for Oscar

Sharmeen has previously won the Academy Award for her documentary Saving Face at the 84th Annual Academy Awards in 2012, Pakistan’s first Oscar.

Sherry Rehman, Sharmeen Obaid represent Pakistan at Women in the World summit in India

She is one of only eleven female directors who have ever won an Oscar for a non-fiction film. Inspired by her courage and the countless victims of honor crimes in Pakistan, she has also launched an Anti-Honor Killing Campaign, The Price of Forgiveness.

PM Nawaz congratulates Sharmeen Obaid over Oscars nomination

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has congratulated Sharmeen for the Academy Award nomination.

According to a statement, the premier said the theme of nominated film revolves around honour killings, which afflict several segments of Pakistani society, adding Chinoy’s insights could prove very useful in this connection.

He also expressed the government’s commitment to rid Pakistan of the evil of honour killings by implementing appropriate legislation.

Meanwhile, the prime minister invited Sharmeen to the PM House for the first screening of her Oscar-nominated film, a statement said.

The country’s leading opinion makers from different segments of society, academics, and intellectuals will also be invited to the screening.

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Reader Comments (29)

  • Waseem Ahmad
    Jan 14, 2016 - 8:26PM

    Hope the documentary is not about building her case as to why FATA “IDPs should be contained in camps in KPK – allowing them in Karachi will not bode will for security.” Recommend

  • han solo
    Jan 14, 2016 - 9:43PM

    Nothing to be proud of. This woman is sick. Seeking personal glory at the expense of her country’s image. I wonder why all her documentaries aiming for the oscars come with highlighting a negative aspect of Pakistan. Agreed that such social ills exist in pakistan but how will winning an oscar help eliminating such social ills or helping the victims. If she was so concerned with such issues she woukd help the victims of these social ills physically or rally for stricter legislation. What she does instead is making documentaries on such topics just so she can win an oscar and get a chance to rub shoulders with hollywood bigwigs. Americans are always waiting for a chance for a bad story to emanate from a country like pakistan so they can award an oscar for it just to make themselves feel better and cover up for their own crimes. The only thing worse for pakistans image than these social ills are people like her who will exploit such social ills for personal glorification at the expense of countrys image. And she has the gall to call it ‘a proud moment for Pakistan’. Pathetic.Recommend

  • Omar Sh.
    Jan 14, 2016 - 9:58PM

    First it was the documentary on acid burn victims now honour killing. Who do all her oscar shortlisted documentaries have to do something with whats wrong with Pakistan. It seems that academy is no more a stage to celebrate the art of film making and story telling and more like a social/ political advocacy platform. Women’s subjugation and the third world. Here, you have the perfect ingredients to win an oscar and become famous.Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 14, 2016 - 11:38PM

    As a spoiler i just want to tell everyone that she have found another victim in Pakistan and now cashing in on her. Her movie is again based on the same Mantra that Pakistani society is a filth and she is the the only savior. This movie has nothing to do with any Movie Production, storyline and graphics.

    The West love to bash the country like ours and they need fodder for their canons. The people like Sharmeen just give them that fodder and then she get nominations for the Oscar.

    Her movie is selected because Republicans and Donald Trump need more examples to terrorize the Americans against Muslim majority countries and Miss Shirmeen just provided them with another example.Recommend

  • khadijah
    Jan 14, 2016 - 11:39PM

    @han solo:
    Glad someone said itRecommend

  • cheap journalism
    Jan 14, 2016 - 11:47PM

    @han solo:
    Like you said her aim is winning an oscar not solving the issue. There are better ways of helping if you really wish to help. Cheap journalismRecommend

  • GS@Y
    Jan 14, 2016 - 11:49PM

    Look at all these commenters angry that Sharmeen Obaid is revealing Pakistan’s ills. We are strengthened as a nation when we are able to acknowledge our own issues, think about and understand them, and then do something about them. That’s what SOC’s documentaries do. We shouldn’t stop ourselves from engaging in this process because our country’s image will be affected. Guess what, it already isn’t that great in the world.Recommend

  • malika
    Jan 14, 2016 - 11:52PM

    @han solo:
    “The only thing worse for pakistans image than these social ills are people like her who will exploit such such ills for personal glorification at the expense of countrys image”.
    Couldn’t have said it better.Recommend

  • remember remeber
    Jan 15, 2016 - 12:04AM

    Please remember what happened to the acid attack survivor from the last film:

  • Derwaish
    Jan 15, 2016 - 12:49AM

    We have many unacceptable flaws in our society and there is no denying, including child marriage, acid attacks, dowery, watta-satta, honour killings etc. However, would anyone ever dare to make a documentary on how physically and psychologically the western society exploits women day in and day out in the name of women liberation? Would such a documentary ever be shortlisted for any nomination, even from, say, Cambodia? Would the producer would not be called with names like ‘conspiracy theorist’, out-dated, backward, oppressive, Mulla, daqyanoosi and what not? Should not we ask this lady as to whether she would ever stand against dowery when it will come to marriages of her sons and daughters? Or does she even has any plans to do anything about this widespread disease which is not specific to a little chunk of the society but affect whole region including the “liberals” and educated class. Its easy to get publicity by doing what is popular but very difficult to get recognition by doing what is right.

    Finally, Is Oscar all about appreciating art or has it some other agenda? Recommend

  • nsync
    Jan 15, 2016 - 1:11AM

    No one’s saying these problems don’t exist. Nor is anyone suggesting we turn a blind eye to it. I don’t need an SOC film to tell me acid throwing and honor killing exist in this country. But when i want to solve it i want to solve it staying within Pakistan and not do dirty laundry in public. Especially when the public already hates me and will reward me for bringing my issues to them. What good did her earlier documentary do? Dont you remember how one of the subjects of that documentary claimed she was promised huge amount of money in exchange for appearing in the video and never paid for it. You acknowledged a problem of our society namely acid burning through that documentary. So, did you end it? Has it ended? The only thing it has added to is the image of Pakistanis as a scum of the earth and more hatred. But SOC doesnt care. She just wants an oscar and cheap fame.Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    Jan 15, 2016 - 2:40AM

    Funny how all the people are hating on her but love to cuddle Malala who represents an equally bad image of Pakistan globally and the most amusing part is she didn’t even accomplish anything, she doesn’t even have any skills. At least Sharmeen knows how to make a movie, what does Malala know? Recommend

  • Sejra
    Jan 15, 2016 - 2:59AM

    @han solo: Very well articulated. Very true.Recommend

  • Hira
    Jan 15, 2016 - 3:12AM

    No fuss made by people when every year a 1000 reported cases of girls ganged raped and killed because of bringing shame to their families. But someone highlights it, she’s the evil one!!! Double standards…Recommend

  • goggi (Lahore)
    Jan 15, 2016 - 6:23AM

    Black American social reformers and civil rights activists like Booker T. Washington, William Edward Burghardt Du Bois, Marcus Garvey, Martin Luther King, to name a few, were the most prominent representatives of the struggle against social oppression and racism in the USA. Their struggle paved the way for a Black American to be elected as the president of the USA!

    Likewise the fruits of the educational work of Ms Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy shall certainly be reaped from our future generations, when our women shall not be anymore the Niggers of our sick patriarchal society.

    Honor killings, acid attacks and other forms of evil mutilations, are the final punishments for women who violate the regulations of their male-dominated world – whether consciously or unconsciously. Forced veiling or forced marriages ultimately serve the goal of the macho men who have the total control over the women, in the minutest details.Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 15, 2016 - 7:28AM

    Dear Sir i have spent my life in many developed countries. I totally disagree with you on the notion of Women exploitation in the West. Even tough i am critical of the Miss Shirmeen Obaid’s choice of movies, but at the same time I must add that Women have more respect in Europe than in Pakistan. Even at night women can travel freely there but not in Pakistan. A working woman can without harrasment in Europe, but in my experience harassment is more common in our country.

    You must live in Scandinavian countries to understand that. Women are not exploited but respected. They are not judged on the basis of clothing.

    A piece of clothing do not determine the respect there. Even a semi naked woman will come on the street, but still no one can dare to ogle, judge or touch her .Infact the people having your mentality have brought on us a bad name in the cities like Cologne recently..

    Also liberal means open to ideas. We are all liberals to some extent. Stop exploiting these terms. The West do have negatives, but their positives and rule of law is unparalleled in the world. Recommend

  • GS@Y
    Jan 15, 2016 - 7:59AM


    Are you kidding me? She’s a documentary filmmaker with a particular substantive interest. Who are you or I to tell her what subjects she may tackle and how? Does she have the right to determine your profession for you? And airing dirty laundry in the public? What convoluted notions of false pride or honor do you have that make you think acid attacks and honor killings are internal issues of Pakistan? They are issues of human rights, which are universal! Any activist trying to resolve them will appeal to universal values and audiences. Do you want Angelina Jolie to come make films about Pakistan’s troubles instead? She’s a filmmaker, she’s doing her part. How about you do yours? If you thought her film was going to stop acid attacks, you understand neither documentary film making nor simple logic. Hopefully, it brought attention, resources, and pressure to the problem. And guess what, may be the problem will be resolved if cry babies like you who insist on burying their heads in the sand and lashing out at anyone talking sense weren’t trying their best to ignore them.Recommend

  • Saad
    Jan 15, 2016 - 8:52AM

    Sharmeen should act too. She is gorgeous looking !Recommend

  • filmi
    Jan 15, 2016 - 10:36AM

    The same old formula. Backward country with social ills and women’s rights stifled. Pretty unimaginative and untalented of a filmmaker to focus more on the winning formula than commitment to the art of storytelling. Recommend

  • mista
    Jan 15, 2016 - 10:58AM

    Next year im making a documentary on how the curse of dowry ruins the lives of women in pakistan. I want an oscar and become famous too. Recommend

  • fasiha
    Jan 15, 2016 - 11:23AM

    Anyone who thinks academy is a platform to celebrate achievements in filmmaking is living in a fools paradise. Its a race of PR machineries and thats about it. Just produce a film under the banner of a powerful production house and on a topic which earns the academys favor and you get nominated. Sharmeen has just cracked that code successfullyRecommend

  • Nadim Hussain
    Jan 15, 2016 - 11:41AM

    This is a great opportunity for Pakistan and we are all thankful to Sharmeen and people like her who put in all their time and effort into causes which people are scared to face and support. She has given us an opportunity to change Pakistan for the better it is up to us now wether we choose to support her in this near impossible task or become haters and try to pick faults in what she is doing …. I also would like to say I am very proud of PM Nawaz Sharif for his quick acknowledgement of the problem and his offer to help against this problem and do the first screening at PM house !!! Let’s all work together to make Pakistan a better place …. Sharmeen we are all with you …. Never give up !!! Recommend

  • Derwaish
    Jan 15, 2016 - 3:00PM

    @Malik Saab:

    Prejudice seldom shows any reason. God bless you.Recommend

  • Saad
    Jan 16, 2016 - 1:08AM

    The lone voice of reason!Recommend

  • Hammad
    Jan 16, 2016 - 1:54AM

    feminists should also highlight some points

    1) why women in pakistan study medical just to get good marriage proposals?

    2) why women must be treated with special respect and honour?

    if a female hits a male, male should not sit back but hit her back, in our society males are taught to respect women so much than if a female does brutality on male, male can respond back

    3) why is that, a female is married very young, while a male is made to first ‘stand on his feet’ and make a healthy income and marry his sisters and then get married?

    4) if female veiling and covering is oppression by males dominating their society, then feminist must also say that males must not be made to lower their gazes for female gender

    5) females must be made to do hard labour just like men


  • walt
    Feb 13, 2016 - 7:14AM

    Congratulations Sharmeen!!! It could not have been easy.Recommend

  • Farooq Ahmad Khan Sherwani
    Feb 26, 2016 - 2:59PM

    Thank You.Recommend

  • Myra Nur
    Mar 7, 2016 - 9:53AM

    A blog highlighting Sharmeen Obaid’s success and reasoning why she shouldn’t be hash tagged so negatively!

  • Myra Nur
    Mar 7, 2016 - 9:55AM

    @han solo: Maybe try viewing an alternative perspective, this blog may change your mind about her

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