Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy Discusses How Movies May Alter How Individuals See Certain Topics

Dec/10/2022 / by Team SEEMA
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Image credits: Wikimedia Commons

About Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a Pakistani journalist and filmmaker. The subjects of her films, which she focuses on, are women, children, and other members of underrepresented populations. Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2013), two of Obaid Chinoy’s movies, have won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Obaid Chinoy’s work has received widespread appreciation around the globe (2015). Obaid Chinoy has helped refugees in several countries, although she routinely investigates problems plaguing Pakistan, mainly the Taliban and their recruiting of child soldiers. She was named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2012, and then she was presented with the World Economic Forum’s Crystal Award in Davos the following year (2013).

Age Of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Obaid Chinoy was born on 12th November 1978. She is 58 years old, and her zodiac sign is Scorpio.

Profession Of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani-Canadian journalist, filmmaker, and activist most recognized for her work in films that bring attention to the issues of gender inequality.

Biography of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Throughout her career as a filmmaker, Obaid Chinoy has made it her mission to bring awareness to the persistent struggle women all over the world wage against those in positions of authority. Obaid-Chinoy is a Pakistani filmmaker who got her start when she was just 14 years old. She was born in the city of Karachi. She was able to see the far-reaching impacts of her nation’s patriarchal society at a young age, including females being forced to attend schools separate from boys, and friends being coerced into marriages, and problematic rituals. Sharmeen, infuriated by what she witnessed, committed herself wholeheartedly to helping bring these injustices out of the shadows and into the light, where individuals would be forced to come to terms with the heinous violations of human rights. Her primary mode of expression is through the medium of film.

The director’s work in film is focused on activism, and her comprehensive resume encompasses over 30 distinct projects. For several of those productions, she won awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Emmys, in addition to the prestigious Crescent of Excellence from her native Pakistan. Obaid Chinoy has built a reputation for portraying the untold tales of the courageous people who are the driving force behind the world’s most dynamic social movements. She has accomplished this via her illustrious filmography. Her goal is to amplify these individuals’ perspectives and, in doing so, to provide the venues that these groups’ causes justly require.

Obaid Chinoy announced the production of a new collection of short films in the year 2020 that would focus on five women who are making a difference in their communities via their activist activity. In this YouTube Originals series produced in collaboration with the Global Fund for Women, Fundamental will have to take viewers to the countries of Brazil, Georgia, Kenya, and Pakistan, where they’ll get a front-row seat to the game-changing community engagement for women that women are carrying out.

Obaid Chinoy once remarked that she aspires to effect change in a community at a time,”. She realizes that by elevating the voices of the ordinary citizens confronted with exceptional challenges to television screens worldwide, she will affect change in a community at a time.”

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy on TED

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, a documentary filmmaker who has won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film twice, was among the presenters at the TED2019 conference, which took place in April in Vancouver, Canada. This year’s Technology, Entertainment, and Design conference with the topic “Bigger than Us.” 

Sharmeen Obaid, a cinematographer and a TED Fellow, joined the stage and spoke on how movies can transform how we perceive ourselves and our society. Sharmeen presented the story of how she took her film that won an Academy Award on the road in a portable cinema, traveling to tiny towns and villages all over Pakistan and changing the dynamic between women, men, and culture one show at a time in an inspiring lecture that she gave at TED. The film’s director began by introducing her character by stating that she is a storyteller and a troublemaker. It is in her nature to probe for information that is not readily available.

Sharmeen claims that when she was 17 years old, she worked as a journalist for an undercover news organization. When Sharmeen submitted an article to her editor that identified and embarrassed several extremely prominent individuals, she doesn’t even think the editor realized how young she was at the time. The individuals she’d written about decided to teach her a lesson, so they sprayed her name and the names of her family members across the neighborhood along with obscenities beyond comprehension.

Sharmeen went on to say that after the event, her father confronted her and informed her that if she told the truth, not only would he stand with her, but so would the rest of the world. She shared her thoughts, including the notion that she believed anything visual is more powerful. She started her career as a documentary filmmaker when she was 21 years old, focusing her camera on underrepresented groups living on the front lines of conflict zones. After some time, she moved back to Pakistan with the intention of filming instances of violence against women there. Her anger barometer anger pointed her in the direction of honor murders in 2014. She had the goal in mind from the beginning of telling that narrative from the point of view of a survivor. However, women do not survive to recount their stories because they are murdered, and their graves go unmarked. After reading about a young woman who had survived through a miracle after getting shot in the face by her father and uncle since she decided to marry a guy of her own free choice, she realized she had found the storyteller she had been looking for.

Sharmeen related the tale of Saba, who had every intention of sending both the father and the uncle to prison, but she eventually gave in to the pressure and forgave them. And in the end, on the very last day of the trial, she made a statement that she forgives them. She said that the law included a flaw that made it possible for victims to forgive their attackers, so allowing the attackers to avoid serving jail time.

They were disheartened as filmmakers since this was not the picture that they had intended to make in the first place. They also started considering the possibility of utilizing their video to alter how people saw honor killings and to influence the legal gap. And then, their production was nominated for an Academy Award, bringing attention to the issue of honor murders in the media. The documentary filmmaker shared with the audience that the current Prime Minister, who was in power then, had congratulated her on the film and offered to hold the first showing at his office. The prime minister delivered the following statement during the screening, which was shown live on national tv: “There is no honor in honor murders.” This statement sent shockwaves across the nation.

Sharmeen Obaid gave a speech in Los Angeles about her film Saving Face, which has been nominated for an Academy Award. Upon accepting the award, she stated that the Pakistan prime minister has promised to reform the legislation regarding honor killings. Back at Sharmeen’s home, the Oscar triumph was all everyone could talk about, and more individuals entered the battle, demanding that the legal gap be closed. The battle continued for several months, culminating in October 2016, when the loophole was finally closed. And now, men who murder women citing honor may expect to spend the rest of their lives behind bars. However, the very following day, a lady was murdered in the name of honor, followed by another woman, and then still another woman. They had an effect on the law, but that wasn’t enough; they realized they needed to get the documentary and the message to the country’s rural areas, particularly the cities, towns, and villages.

In Sharmeen’s view, motion pictures have the potential to significantly contribute to the improvement and development of society in constructive ways. However, the construction of a mobile theater was the only option to access these locations, including many smaller towns and villages. The truck would travel across the country, making stops in various cities, towns, and villages along the way. Sharmeen explains that they designed it to have a massive screen that would illuminate the night sky, and they gave it the name Dekh Magar Pyar Se (Look But With Love). They were certain that the mobile cinema would draw both men and children, but they anticipated that luring women would be more difficult.

They constructed a movie theater within the movie theater, complete with chairs and a screen so that ladies could go there and enjoy movies without worrying about being humiliated or harassed in the regular theater. Sharmeen continued by saying they were taken aback by the kind reception they received at such a large number of the locations they visited. They are keeping a record of all that they are doing right now. They interact with other individuals. They change and update the films that are scheduled to be shown.

In her closing remarks, she mentioned that they had been approached by an organization interested in bringing the mobile theater to Bangladesh and Syria. She remarked that via the medium of film, men in Pakistan’s rural communities and villages are altering how they engage with women, and children are altering the ways in which they view the world, a village at a time.


What is the net worth of Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy?

According to Forbes, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has an estimated net worth of $1.5 million. In addition to being one of the wealthiest journalists, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is also among the most highly cited journalists. 

What is the name of the Oscar-winning documentary about Sharmeen Obaid?

Sharmeen Obaid is best known for winning an Oscar for the documentary Saving Face, which she directed in 2012. The film is an engrossing look at people who have survived acid attacks. Since she was 14 years old, however, the journalist/filmmaker has been presenting the experiences of members of underrepresented populations.

Who is Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s spouse?

Sharmeen is married to Fahd Kamal Chinoy. They are parents to two little ones.


Sign Up to Our Newsletter

Get notified about exclusive stories every week!

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Seema will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.