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Pakistani filmmakers shine at 2016 Oscars

The Oscars this year was overshadowed by controversy yet again, with a lot of criticism directed at the lack of diversity in this year’s acting categories.

Presenter Kevin Hart even addressed the controversy in an inspiring speech. But let’s not fail to acknowledge the Muslim filmmakers who made a mark at this year’s Oscars.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistani–Canadian filmmaker, won an Academy Award for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness in the category of Best Documentary (Short Subject).

The film, which denounces the practice of honour killings, features the story of an 18-year-old Pakistani who survived the cruelties and torture of her father and uncle after marrying a person without their permission.

The film also looks at the many other cases that have taken place in rural villages of Pakistan.

Sharmeen told Reuters that she hoped the film would further raise awareness about honour killings.

“It’s not something that is part of our religion or culture,” she said. “This is something that should be treated as pre-meditated murder, and people should go for jail for it.”

This isn’t the first time Sharmeen’s been thus honoured; in 2012, she won Pakistan’s first Oscar for a documentary on the horrors endured by women who suffer acid attacks.

Asif Kapadia, a British–Pakistani filmmaker, won in the category of Best Documentary Feature along with James Gay-Rees for Amy.

The documentary is a tragic account of Amy Winehouse and the story behind her complex life from the beginning to the tragic end. Kapadia has previously won four BAFTAs for Amy, Senna, and The Warrior, as well as a Grammy Award for Amy.


Oscar, Academy Awards
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Seban Scaria