Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has just won her first and Pakistan's first Oscar. Her documentary film Saving Face, co-directed by US-based Daniel Junge, follows Pakistani plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad who preforms re-constructive surgery on acid attack survivors in Pakistan.

In her acceptance speech Chinoy said she hoped her film will resonate for others in Pakistan.

“It is a story of hope with a powerful message for the Pakistani audience. I felt this would be a great way to show how Pakistanis can help other Pakistanis overcome their problems,” she said.

Dawn.com caught up with the Oscar winning documentary maker before she left for Los Angles to attend the Academy Awards. Here Chinoy speaks about her own aspirations as a film-maker, her documentaries and what Saving Face means for Pakistan.

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Comments (110) Closed



bilal Feb 26, 2012 01:04pm
This lady is amazing and makes me a proud Pakistani!
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pakistani Feb 26, 2012 05:55pm
Good luck Sharmeen...
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abc Feb 26, 2012 07:52pm
Its a great news. I am an India and I am really very proud of you Sharmeen. All the best to you.
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MS Feb 26, 2012 11:29pm
Very impressive. Good luck Sharmeen. You have our prayers! I will be watching the Oscars because of you.
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Kris Ramani Feb 27, 2012 12:59am
Ms. Shameen: Your greatest award I consider was when parliament passed bill against acid throwing. It has been the act of kayars against women. I pray god give you enough strength to work on more projects like this. You will reap more rewards than Academy. My blessing are with you all the time everywhere you go. Violence against women must stop, specially acid throwing immediately. those who throw acid should be punished like a murderer. Every women is a mother first and then she takes other roles. Any man that thinks he is a man must respect woman as he would his own mother, sister or wife. Shame on those who even think of violence to women. I really appreciate the doctor who is helping such women. He is one of few man that needs to b respected.
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Christa Meindersma Feb 27, 2012 02:44am
Sharmeen, good luck!
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Kiranjit S. Sikand Feb 27, 2012 03:37am
Sharmeen: Great job. A simple step to make progress in a culture / country / religion is to empower the women as it makes up half of its population and is responsible to give birth and raise all its future generation. Good luck with Oscar and please do not stop there. Keep up the good work.
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abdul hoodboy Feb 27, 2012 04:01am
what about the dr who performed this surgeries he is the one i believe that makes us all proud
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zartash Feb 27, 2012 08:40am
REALLY FEEL PROUD OF HER ....we need people like sharmeen who can actually change the face of pakistan who can really SAVE the FACE of all pakistani nation , we hav been and r being taken wrong all around the world... SHARMEEN is our hope best of luck to her ..
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Muhammad Wasim Feb 27, 2012 09:18am
Congratulation..... on winning the OSCAR....
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Bakhtawer Bilal Feb 27, 2012 09:18am
CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!! for Winning the OSCARS......wow...
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G.A. Feb 27, 2012 09:27am
Good work winning an Oscar for Pakistan!!
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Ghazala Feb 27, 2012 09:27am
Congratulations on winning Oscar
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samiullah bajwa Feb 27, 2012 09:34am
She just did it, she won the Oscar; Bravo! more power to the courageous women of Pakistan
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Misbah Feb 27, 2012 09:35am
Cong Sharmeen Chinoy on wining the first oscar for Pakistan. We are very proud of you and your wonderful work highlighting the plight of women in pakistan. Go Pakistan.
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Pakistani Female Feb 27, 2012 09:37am
Congrats Sharmeen on winning Oscar! You make me a proud pakistani woman.
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Adnan Khan Feb 27, 2012 09:40am
And the Oscar goes to....... She's Got It!!! Well done Shermeen. You just made the whole nation proud
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Ayaz Feb 27, 2012 09:57am
Congratulations on winning he award....
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shahbaz ashraf Feb 27, 2012 10:18am
Sharmeen, Pakistan should be proud of you , Mr Junge and the Doctor. Every Pakistani woman should pray for your well being and every Pakistani who is not doing anything to stop this shameful acts shud hang his head in shame God Protect you and give you strength..ameen
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A.J.Siddiqui Feb 27, 2012 10:31am
Congratulations ! Ms Sharmeen- Your achievement is really commendable.
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A.J.Siddiqui Feb 27, 2012 10:35am
Congratulations! Ms Sharmeen Your achievement is really commendable.
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houdhry Feb 27, 2012 10:37am
It is people like Sharmeen that makes a nation proud, and today am proud to be a Pakistani... well done and congratulations Sharmeen!!! You did us all proud, God bless you...
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N.P. Feb 27, 2012 10:43am
Way to go Sharmeen.. Congratulations on your Win. Absolutely Amazing and thank you for bringing recognation to Pakistani Women
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A Pakistani Canadian Feb 27, 2012 05:13am
Sharmeen - One more reason to be a proud Pakistani
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zain Feb 27, 2012 10:55am
CONGRATULATION *SHARMEEN*
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syed asif zafar Feb 27, 2012 11:09am
Film story is to damage the pakistan image .There is several way to do this film.Know she have Oscar.Because film against muslim pakistan society.Not just a very good film. and this true.
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manzoor ahmed Feb 27, 2012 12:06pm
Sharmeen, you are jewel in Pakistan Heroes .
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Beenish Feb 27, 2012 12:12pm
Congratulations Sharmeen and all Pakistani
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Laila Feb 27, 2012 12:13pm
Syed Asif u spoke like a true male chauvinist!!! Can't see a woman win .....typical male nature.
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Faisal Feb 27, 2012 12:23pm
Mr Syed asif, you need to get out of your cave.
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B.Ally Feb 27, 2012 12:36pm
Look what a talent my nation has got. We are equal to all given the opportunity. Today i feel proud of my nation and its people and Sharmeen you have given a hope to us.
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Abbassin Feb 27, 2012 12:39pm
Sharmeen, It was a singular honor for you to be nominated for an Oscar and to go ahead and win it is indeed a very proud moment for Pakistan and Pakistani women -congratulations and God speed in your future endeavors.
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Mudassar Arif Feb 27, 2012 12:51pm
Congrats Sharmeen on clinching a coveted award for Pakistan.Pakistan is very proud of you.I attribute your victory to the victory of every Pakistani women.
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pervaiz memon Feb 27, 2012 01:12pm
it feels like that i have won this award like every Pakistani .
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A Pakistani Feb 27, 2012 07:46am
Hi, may i know if this film was shown in Pakistan to the Pakistani people?? Was it dubbed in english or was it dubbed in urdu??
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Atif Sagheer Feb 27, 2012 01:28pm
Hi Sharmeen, You are amazing and makes me a proud Pakistani
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Azhar Feb 27, 2012 08:12am
wow.... goood news.... where i can watch this documentary..?
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AZHAR Feb 27, 2012 08:31am
A great job done! Congratulations! Wish you focus more on the lives in tribal areas and make more movies on different issues. All the best!
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adnan Feb 27, 2012 02:16pm
Take a chill-pill dude, she just highlighted one of the dilemmas of our society, let's hope this may have a positive effect on our minds and concerned authorities, so that we actually can 'save some faces', which is the main subject of this film.
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Humayun S. Khan Feb 27, 2012 02:21pm
CONGRATULATIONS. Proud of you.
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Susan Koshy Feb 27, 2012 08:57am
Very insightful person. Delighted that you won an emmy and now an oscar. You make us proud even in India.
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M A Baig Feb 27, 2012 09:01am
Most of the comments here mirror the Pakistani society and how low it has fallen. We are celebrating something we should be ashamed of. People here are talking about congratulations and pride. PROUD of what? Are we also proud of the fact that we are one of the most corrupt nations in the world with our leaders the most vile kind of thieves. Yes, Pakistanis need to do everything possible to eradicate this evil amongst a host of other evils in our society but what good is washing your laundry in public? Tell us a single good thing about this award - other than to give Pakistan even a more evil image overseas and what is this film and its Oscar going to do within our society for all those poor victims. The elitist would jump on the word 'awareness', well you need to bring about full force of law and justice against these animals and severe penalties not "advertise" our shame overseas. UNTIL we fight the evils within amidst us such awards only bring shame to Pakistan not pride.
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Zahid Ali Feb 27, 2012 09:46am
CONGRATULATION ON GOOD JOB DONE....
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Romana Feb 27, 2012 04:17pm
I totally agree with what you have pointed out. We as a nation cannot even understand that this is something to be ashamed of.
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Nahid Feb 27, 2012 04:30pm
You are absolutely right. Your comment shows how low we have fallen as a society. Instead of beIng proud of her hard work, you are tryIng to find the negative points. As far as the world goes, they already know enough of our evils, she just tried to show a good part of this one evil of our society, how a doctor is dedicatIng his life to a noble cause and how brave our women are. Grow up dude! Congratulations Sharmeen and thank you for making the world think that Pakistanis also could have enough potential to win an Oscar.
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Rafey Feb 27, 2012 04:33pm
Congrats :-) U have made the whole nation proud :-)
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Rajesh / Bangalore Feb 27, 2012 04:49pm
Heartiest congratulations. A story that needed to be told and a documentary that deserved to win.
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atif khan Feb 27, 2012 04:55pm
Won an Oscar yeah we are proud of you, and seriously I am. but the fact its showing the bad side of Pakistan.a good foreigner friend of mine just told me, is it the case in Pakistan? he thinks after this that every second woman suffering here.
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Zaid Feb 27, 2012 05:04pm
While it is a big achievements winning an Oscar, I wonder if we make a documentary on drone attacks and the consequences of American war on Pakistan, would the entertainment industry give it an Oscar thought?
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kashif Feb 27, 2012 05:05pm
********ConGratulaTion********
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Maria Feb 27, 2012 05:31pm
Its a story that needs to be told! The horrific things that happen to women hear, women need to be heard! If we sit back and be quiet whom is going to help these women? your foreigner friend needs to know that it doesnt happen to every woman here but it happens alot and we cannot accept this behaviour in this society.
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Shubhendu Bag Feb 27, 2012 05:58pm
The same happened in India when Slum-dog Millionaire won Oscars, the West always wanted to show we are living in an awful conditions, the films or documentaries show our bad condition of living then only award us.
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Mrs Gullraiz Feb 27, 2012 06:03pm
Congrats.... we need ppl like Sharmeen who can bring voice to these kinds of cruel crimes and winning might open that door...we need to do sometime about crimes against woman..world already knows about evil nation(as some said earlier )..we need to focus on these kind of issues too ..who else gonna raise their voice if we don't do anything and she did 1 step towards it..well done Sharmeen...awareness and doing something about is important...bless you shareen..
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Faisal Saifullah Feb 27, 2012 06:26pm
Congratulation the nation is proud on you
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G.A. Feb 27, 2012 06:40pm
M A Baig - I too posted a comment as soon as she won but subconsciously I knew it was on the back of a tragedy that needed to be mentioned. There maybe many posts like that here and for you to claim that the people have 'fallen' without knowing the posters is irresponsible and only reflects on you. Know the facts first.
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Shazia,MBA Feb 27, 2012 06:49pm
Sharmeen, I am US citizen of Pakistani dissent , I was watching the Oscars live when they announced 'saving face' wins the Oscar , I stood up and started clapping as if I was present there.. You coming on the stage in a beautiful Pakistani attire just shows your high class and values and then dedicating it to the ' women of Pakistan ' just made my day! Hats off to you , you made us proud!!
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ejaz ali Feb 27, 2012 07:01pm
i think she has done a tremendous service by highlighting one out of million ills that our society has plunged in. Ms Chinoy and God fearing Doctor has done great service to humanity. A great message or an awakening call that" look around and what are we waiting for". God help those who help them selves. A well deserve recognition for the job so well professionally done. Keep the flag high and keep doing your job. Heartiest congratulation to entire team.
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S Tahir Feb 27, 2012 07:05pm
I completely agree with Baig, what are we exactly celebrating ?? by showing another negative side of Pakistan. We make an issue out everything that relates to Pakistan, are we saying women are safe in UK & USA? Well not really there is probably more rapes, prostitution, violence against women and murders in UK Europe than anywhere else. Shermeen has used Pakistan very cleverly for her achievement, let she might do one one drone attacks next ?
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Mike Droyer Feb 27, 2012 07:21pm
This lady did not deserve an Oscar or any of the plaudits. Her entire film was over exaggerated and lacked in any real depth. I'm not surprised, however, during my tenure as a military attache I found the people of Pakistan, excluding the Pashtun and Baloch, to be cowardly.
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tanveer Feb 27, 2012 07:44pm
Great Job Sharmeen. proud pakistni
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Sher Rahmat Chitrali Feb 27, 2012 07:48pm
Sharmeen, you made a history, congratulations
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Nadir Baloch Feb 27, 2012 07:49pm
She is a symbol to be followed by each of us. Let's care for ourselves by fighting the rigidity that threats humanity.
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jun Feb 27, 2012 08:05pm
Pakistani film industry as a whole should shun the bollywood style dancing singing culture in movies in the name of entertainment and start making serious movies,or at least stop putting funny looking dancing,singing,so unrealistic.Pakistanis are talented people and they can make wonderful movies like Iran.
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Zulfeqar Feb 27, 2012 08:08pm
WOW
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Khurram Jadoon Feb 27, 2012 08:09pm
Thank you so much. I'm proud to share something good about Pakistan with my co-workers here in US. I turned off the TV after you GOT IT !!! .. congratulations.
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malik Feb 27, 2012 08:21pm
Of course you would say divisive things like that as that shows your official intent. Can you define your scale for cowardice?
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Nahid Feb 27, 2012 08:29pm
Well I guess then there should be more documentaries like these to make us feel embarrassed enough to stand up against these things
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Samar jhang Feb 27, 2012 08:36pm
You r our proud. People like chinoy is the need of pakistan in each field. You became immortal
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Qureshi Feb 27, 2012 08:43pm
This is awesome! Congratulations! Such a down to earth girl and goes all the way to win an Oscar, wow! All those who are posting negative comments should learn to respect women if they cannot do anything worthwhile!
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fazia Feb 27, 2012 08:51pm
many congrats to sharmeen ,yes she made ever single Pakistan proud ,after reading some comments her I really wanted to write my own .i second SHAZIA MBA comment same thing happened to us, we are in Canada and we were watching the awards with our kids who are born and raised here but hearing that they were so proudly saying a Pakistani at Oscars . She was Looking so stunning, dignified and beautiful in her dress ,really representing the women of 21 century .carried herself very nicely on the stage . then I read the comments from Arif Khan, M A Baig ,S Thair, and Syed Asif Zafar are so male dominated as they don’t relies it Sharmeen is showing something that has been down to these poor victims by men of our society .it’s not showing the bad side of Pakistan , tell you dear foreign friends that yes this happened in Pakistan but it don’t stop the women of Pakistan to move forward there are also men like the DOCTOR that Helped these women . have you ever thought after hearing about the award announcement how those women felt whose story are told in the movie at least they had come feeling of relief that their story are eye openers though it won’t remove their miseries.
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Sam Mason Feb 27, 2012 09:04pm
A great honor for Pakistan and what you did Sharmeen is so incredible that it beyond comprehension. Pakistan has been in News which has been negative. Because of you bringing an Ocacar to Pakistan is very positive News aboout Pakistan, Sharmeen you are very young and very attractive. I am sure you will continue to bring glory to Pakistan
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Syed Feb 27, 2012 09:06pm
Congratulation, you make us all proud. Wouldn't it be nice if your speech was somewhat similer to Iranian oscar winner not giving the impresion that it is every house story in Pakistan. Good work, keep it up. Your achievement was celebrated by second generation Pakistani Canadians in Norther Canada. It was an instant status on facebook among my sons high school friends.
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sabia Feb 27, 2012 09:18pm
sharmeen congrats ! hope so u ll be aid to pakistani women . ur type of people can make pak one of the best countries,not only u but v too can do so if v try to.
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Madhu Nair Feb 27, 2012 09:23pm
Good work. Congrats and wish you a wonderful future. With love from India!
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Syed Feb 27, 2012 09:30pm
Western countries always reward Asians and Muslims when they affirm negative stereotypes that they already have about them. Why aren't they making documentaries about date rapes and domestic violence in the US? How many documentaries have we seen on that subject? How would Americans feel if Pakistan start rewarding Americans who air America's dirty laundry in Pakistan?
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Sudha Feb 27, 2012 09:34pm
I think there is a place for all genres of cinema. It's wonderful that the people of India and Pakistan are cultured enough to appreciate them all. Congrats to Sharmeen Ji!!!
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Sudha Feb 27, 2012 09:36pm
It is always worth congratulating when someone has the courage to face the evils of their own nation and try and bring attention to them instead if pretending that they don't exist!
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muhammad afzal majee Feb 27, 2012 09:49pm
Bravo Sharmeen you did a great job to anchor the worst trauma of society to a possible best level.........
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Ali Alam Feb 27, 2012 10:00pm
I agree with both viewpoints. It is normally the case when the West takes something negative from the third world and rewards it but at the same time we cannot blame them if we are unable to produce documentaries or movies that show our 'positive' sides Can you name one? Besides if they were so biased, they would never have given the best foreign language film to Iran when there was another one from Israel in contention also. So please keep your prejeduices aside and accept the fact that Sharmeen did great work in highlighting this issue. The iranian movie did not show anything 'negative' about Iran but it still won didn't it? Also, Sharmeen has done quite a few other documentaries before this one also such as Children of the Taliban and the Trans-genders of the country. Besides this she has worked on many non-Pakistani based movies as well. I wish her all the best and hope she can inspire many more Pakistanis to stepup and follow their dreams, whether in media, sports, journalism, science and technology, education, arts, medicine, research, or any other field that they might be dreaming about to make an impact on the world around them!
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ali bangash Feb 27, 2012 10:06pm
Congratulations Sharmeen! We are very proud of you.
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Kamath Feb 27, 2012 10:08pm
Congratulations.
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farhat Feb 27, 2012 10:25pm
Watched a movie over the weekend " Extremely loud", i am sorry to say that this movie in my opinion was biased. What was the point i was missing...simply because during drone attacks and other bombings in Iraq and Pakistan hundreds of civilians die each year and they don't know these soldiers either...an orphan child in Afghanistan cries as well because his father was killed by unknown men for unknown reason...
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Aman Kudiya Feb 27, 2012 11:18pm
Great job "SHARMEEN"
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Aamir Aalam Shah Feb 27, 2012 11:21pm
so proud of you! your efforts have created strong ripples of our positive image as a nation world wide:) Thank you so much!
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Proud Pakistani Feb 27, 2012 11:36pm
Well done...
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Nauman Aslam Feb 28, 2012 12:54am
Dear Sharmeen You have done a marvellous job. Its a priceless gift for the Nation.
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Qaiser Bakhtiari Feb 28, 2012 01:08am
Yours is a wonderful comment and I agree with it wholeheartedly.
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Imran Feb 28, 2012 01:16am
People posting negative comments for this great achievement tends to be losers who themselves haven't done any good deed at least for their country or a noble cause. I can bet, these big wieners have not achieved any thing by themselves. If these losers think out of the box, can they logically prove what is the negative impact of this documentary
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Shujaat Ayub Khan Feb 28, 2012 01:33am
Proud to be a Pakistani Today. Thankyou Sharmeen.
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Sahba Feb 28, 2012 01:36am
Finally something to be proud of as a Pakistani because the politicians have left no stone unturned in disgracing the country.Keep up the good work and we in the US are especially proud of u.You go girl!
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Jehangir Shah Feb 28, 2012 01:37am
I just jump out of the coach when I heard about Pakistan with +tive message. Great work! You made us proud. Jehangir Shah Los Angeles, CA
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Safwan Khan Feb 28, 2012 01:49am
well first Pakistan Oscar was in 2007, Mir Zafar Ali won for best visual effects in 2007. ching ching!!
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winner Feb 28, 2012 01:59am
Congratulations Sharmeen. I am an Indian, and strongly believe that films such as yours will go a long way towards higlighting women's issues in our respective countries. Fantastic job!!!!
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baqar hasnain Feb 28, 2012 02:10am
Mocking this documentary is nothing less than chiding Susan B. Anthony for her struggle with the women's suffrage or sneering at Rosa Parks for refusing to accept racial discrimination or any American journalist or producer for covering these tragic and dark events in the history of the United States of America.
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nazish kazimi Feb 28, 2012 02:18am
DEAR SHARMEEN,WE ARE PROUD OF YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Navin Feb 28, 2012 02:37am
Brilliant and Congratulations! To the Pakistanis that say that this film shows the country in bad light, I say every developed country has thousands of films about the their own societies. American media is full of films that social problems in American. Same thing is true about Europe. I hope this film and Sharmeen inspire a million Pakistanis to take up their cameras and shoot about issues they think need to be brought to forefront. If you don't do this today someday you have to Save Faces of your sisters and daughters.
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Lakhkar Khan Feb 28, 2012 04:03am
You are the bright icon, the shinning star of moderate Pakistan. Hats off!!
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FR Feb 28, 2012 05:17am
Could you get hold of her email address as I want to request her for another indepth documentary on the actions of western troops against humanity, others' religious matters and drones killing innocent men, dying elderly people both men and women, children and even infants?
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Sara Khan Feb 28, 2012 05:24am
Congratulations to Sharmeen, however the source of the article seems to be facebook, another oscar was won couple of years back by Mir Zafar Ali, who probably got ignored. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1485675/bio
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Omar Feb 28, 2012 05:45am
Brilliant news!!! Well done Sharmeen, from the rest of us Pakistanis. And of course to the good, brave Doctor who is doing all the wonderful work. Hopefully, it will inspire more of us to get up and do something positive as well. We need more like him and Sharmeen. Looking forward to seeing this documentary.
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NoName Feb 28, 2012 05:54am
Heartiest congratulations to Sharmeen winning the Oscar and job well done. This is a definite win especially for the women of Pakistan. The subject matter that Sharmeen has covered in the documentary is of complete shame for Pakistan. I want to know that what is Pakistan Government and the people of Pakistan going to do about this issue and other senseless acts of violence that happen day-to-day in Pakistan. I also want to know, which Pakistani cable or non-cable channel going to broadcast this documentary so that people of Pakistan can view the work of pride and act of shame and disgust.
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Manzoor A. Khan Feb 28, 2012 07:51am
O Great,, gtaceful face of my beloved pakistan , You made us happy after a long long time. You are a fine, soft and elegant immage of our country. You have washed all ugly spots from the face of our Pakistan. We are proud of you and your efforts. Thank you Sharmeen
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najam Feb 28, 2012 09:39am
Sharmeen - Ms. Charming, Courageous, and Intelligent. I am just elated. Thank you. Like so many Pakistanis, I can't thank you enough for bringing Oscar to Pakistan. We have talent. We have the will to fight extremism and we will never give up hope. Thank you and May Allah subhan o tala bless you and your family.
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Salman Malik Feb 28, 2012 09:56am
You made us proud Sharmeen..!
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sofia Zamir Feb 28, 2012 10:15am
To Asif and M A Baig,Developed countries have access to news from the world,this is not new for them,We have works of people to be proud of,Agha Khan,Adib Rizvi,akhter Hamid Khan and others from 20th and 21st centuries.She gets an award for her hard work talking about a crime,crime is every where,Oj Simpson ,Nixon,Clinton,were all brought in front of law and were dealt accordingly.people are proud of her success not of the crime she has chosen to make a documentry. To the film makers,make arrangements to show this film(dubbed in regional languages,Sindhi,Seraiki,Pashto etc)on Pakistani TV for the local masses.
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Salma Gul Shah Feb 28, 2012 11:10am
Congratulations. Where can I see the film?
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RJ Feb 28, 2012 11:18am
Congratulations for winning and even more so for telling the truth.
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zaka khan Feb 28, 2012 11:44am
we always proud of every one who make our country step ahead. keep it up, you are pride of our nation forever! Pakistan zinda baad.
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Javed Iqbal Feb 28, 2012 03:15pm
For us in the Pakistani Americans, it is a matter to be embarrassed about and reflect. It is unbelievable how most of the people in Pakistan are celebrating this award like a Nobel has been won. I think our slave mentality and our uncontrolable urge to be 'modern' and be 'western' has no bounds. Surely, crimes that has been highlighted should be tackled in Pakistan with an iron fist but if we think that this award is cause for celebration then god help us. But then again we are the same nation that celebrates Valentine day simply becuase our role model Western society does that.
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Telecom Feb 29, 2012 12:41am
This is the most remarkable thing Pakistani Woman ever done.....its even better than any thing Pakistan ever done in history period either man or woman ever achieve ...Beyond and above like …what most admire me is how her mind process of thinking take place and put it to reality…keep in mind I am discussing religion part of it… Way to go …do few more Oscar- Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
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