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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
شرمین عبید چنائے
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2013
Born 12 November 1978
Karachi, Pakistan
Residence Karachi, Pakistan
Nationality Pakistani
Occupation Documentary filmmaker
Known for Saving Face (2012)
Pakistan's Taliban Generation/ Children of the Taliban (2009)
Afghanistan Unveiled/Lifting the Veil (2007)
Iraq: The Lost Generation (2008)
First Pakistani to win an Oscar.
Religion Islam

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy (Urdu:شرمین عبید چنائے; born 1978), is three Emmy and an Oscar award-winning Pakistani-Canadian journalist and documentary filmmaker.[1][2] She won an Academy Award for her documentary, Saving Face in 2012. She won an Emmy for her documentary, Pakistan: Children of the Taliban in 2010.[3][4] She is also the first non-American to win the Livingston Award for Young Journalists.[4][5] She has been lauded as Pakistan's first female Oscar winner by the press and government Sharmeen was ranked 37th on’s list of the 50 Coolest Desis of 2009.

Early life

Obaid-Chinoy was born into a Muslim family Karachi to well-off Urdu speaking parents, Sheikh Obaid the CEO of Toweller's Factory and Saba Obaid. She attended the Karachi Grammar School. She received her B.A. from Smith College in 2002.


Obaid-Chinoy began writing investigative pieces at the age of fourteen as a way to contribute to critical conversation in Pakistan. She was always interested in telling stories of marginalized communities; people whose voices were never heard and whose compelling stories needed to be shared. She continued to pursue journalism while she was at Smith and wrote for a number of Canadian and American publications. In December 2001, Obaid-Chinoy returned to Pakistan and spent time in refugee camps and went back to the US with a documentary proposal in hand. At the age of twenty two, with no prior experience, she sent letters to eighty news companies and organizations in the US, and was declined by all of them. Eventually, Bill Abrams, the president of New York Times Television gave her her big break. She returned to Pakistan to produce Terror's Children. [4]

Obaid-Chinoy was a faculty member in the media sciences department at SZABIST (Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and technology, Karachi). She started her film company, SOC Films, in Karachi in November 2011.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is an Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker. Her recent films include SAVING FACE, TRANSGENDERS: PAKISTAN’S OPEN SECRET AND PAKISTAN’S TALIBAN GENERATION, which aired on PBS, Channel 4, CBC, SBS and Arte and was the recipient of the Alfred I Dupont Award as well as The Association for International Broadcasting award. Sharmeen has made over a dozen-multi award winning films in over 10 countries around the world and is the first non-American to be awarded the Livingston Award for best international reporting. In 2012 Time Magazine included her in the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

In 2007, Sharmeen was awarded the broadcast journalist of the year award in the UK by One World Media for her work in a series of documentary films for Channel 4, which included a film about xenophobia in South Africa THE NEW APARTHEID and AFGHANISTAN UNVEILED. Her other films have been awarded The Overseas Press Club Award, The American Women in Radio and Television Award, The Cine Golden Eagle award and the Banff Rockie Award.

Sharmeen’s work centers around human rights and women’s issues and she has worked with refugees and marginalized communities from Saudi Arabia to Syria and from Timor Leste to the Philippines.[6]

In May 2012, From more than 4300 entries in 10 categories, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy's film, Transgenders - Pakistan's Open Secret won the Platinum Remi Award at the 45th WorldFest Film Festival.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy was acknowledged with a Lux Style Achievement award on The 11th Lux Style Awards. Lux Style Awards Widely acknowledged to be the Oscars of Pakistan. She is the youngest-ever recipient for the Lux Style Achievement award. In Late July, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy got nominated as SAARC Goodwill Ambassador for HIV/AIDS. In August 2012, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy received a nominee for the Gucci Award for Women for documentary 'Saving Face' as a director. In December 2012, Sharmeen's Saving Face won Best Short Award at the 28th annual IDA Documentary Awards and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has been voted one of the top five millennial women who has been fighting against domestic and societal violence. In late 2012, 'Saving Face' has received the Julian-Bartel Award and the 2012 Abu Dhabi Film Festival Audience Choice Award.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy received the Crystal Award during the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meeting 2013 in Davos 22 January 2013. Sharmeen is the first Pakistani to be awarded this honor.

Awards and nominations

Year Award-giving body Award Result
2007 One World Media Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award Won
2010 Emmy Award Best Documentary - Pakistan: Children of the Taliban Won
Livingston Award Young Journalists - Best International Reporting Won
2012 Academy Award Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) - Saving Face (2012 film) Won
New York Indian Film Festival Best Documentary - Saving Face (2012 film) Won
SAARC Film Awards Best Documentary Prize - Saving Face (2012 film) Won
Government of Pakistan Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Distinction) Awarded
Lux Style Awards Lux Style Achievement Award Won
2013 Crystal Award Outstanding efforts in Promoting Human Rights and Women’s Issues through Film Won
Emmy Award Best Documentary - Saving Face (2012 film) Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form - Saving Face (2012 film) Won
Emmy Award Outstanding Science and Technology Programming - Saving Face (2012 film) Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Cinematography Documentary and Long Form - Saving Face (2012 film) Nominated
Emmy Award Outstanding Research - Saving Face (2012 film) Nominated

See also


External links

  • Website for Sharmeen Obaid Films
  • Sharmeen Obaid Oscar Award Photos
  • LUMS 2012 Convocation Address
  • Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy Oscar award
  • Women Make Movies

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