Oscars: Backstage speech for Best Documentary
Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscars for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) - 'Saving Face'.
New Delhi: Daniel Junge and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won the Oscars for the Best Documentary (Short Subject) - 'Saving Face'. 'Saving Face' tells the stories of two acid-attack survivors - Zakia and Rukhsana, their arduous attempts to bring their assailants to justice, and the charitable work of London-based, Pakistani-born plastic surgeon Dr Mohammad Jawad, who strives to help these women put this horrific act behind them and move on with their lives.
A. (DANIEL JUNGE) This is only a third less nerve racking than being up there. But still all the same. I think it's important to note that this is the first Pakistani director nominated and now winning an Academy Award, which is really worth yeah, applaud. Thank you.
Q. Hi. I am wondering other than, of course, winning, what has been the most exciting thing about your night so far, and what is next for you?
A. (DANIEL JUNGE) Well, we just stepped off the stage, and the first two people we encountered were what were their names?
A. (SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY ) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
A. (DANIEL JUNGE) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.
A. (SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY ) And because Angelina has a connection to Pakistan, because she's been there, it was really nice to chat with her about that and give her a copy of our film.
Q. First of all, congratulations for making Pakistan so proud. Sharmeen and Daniel. Sharmeen, in an interview with Voice of America, you said that winning an Oscar was never a destination, it was never a goal in front of you. What does Oscar mean for you?
A. (SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY ) Well, I think that it reinforces the fact today that you can be anyone and come from anywhere, but if you put quality work out there, that it will be judged on just that; the work that you put out there. And I think that some of the choices that the Academy's made today an Irani film has won, a Pakistani film has won shows that, yes, the Academy does value good work that's put out across the world, not just in North America.
Q. Congratulations. What would you like for Americans to know about Pakistan that we probably don't know?
A. (SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY) That it's possible that women like myself are born and raised there, emancipated, educated women, who return back to Pakistan to give back to that country. I lived in the United States for ten years. I went to college here and worked here, and I chose to go back because people like myself need to go back to create change in Pakistan.
Q. When you look back at the challenges that you have to go through while making this movie and, obviously, you overcame them, how do you feel about that now that you've won the Oscar?
A. (DANIEL JUNGE) Any and all films are challenging, especially for we documentary filmmakers and even more so when you are documenting such dark, difficult subject matter. But I think that the fact that we were able to find redemption within the film and the fact that such that inklings that a hint of change happened while we were in the film is really as valuable as this, but not quite.
Q. Congratulations. Being the first filmmaker from Pakistan to win, can you tell us what kind of film industry you have in Pakistan? Is it thriving or is it also affected by the worldwide trend?
A. (SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY) In the fifties and sixties we had a vibrant film industry. Unfortunately, after that, it sort of died down. And now my generation, there are a number of filmmakers, we are trying to revive that, but it's few and far between. And I hope that this will be an impetus to getting a more flourishing film industry in Pakistan.