Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is a Canada-based Pakistani journalist, filmmaker, and activist. She is the first Pakistani to win an Academy Award and is also one of only eleven female directors to ever win an Oscar for a non-fiction film.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Personal Life
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was born on 12 November 1978 in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan to Sheikh Obaid, a businessman, and Saba Obaid, a social worker.
While studying for her master’s degree, Chinoy became interested in directing and filmmaking. As a director, Sharmeen submitted her first film, Children of Terror, to the New York Times in 2003.
She became a Canadian citizen in 2010.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Career
In 2002, Obaid-Chinoy returned to Pakistan and began a career as a filmmaker. In 2003 and 2004, she made two award-winning films while studying at Stanford University. She then began a long association with the PBS television series Frontline World, where she reported on “Razor’s Edge” in 2004 and continued to produce a series of reports, web videos, and “Dispatches” from Pakistan over the next five years. Her notable films include Children of the Taliban, The Lost Generation, Afghanistan Unveiled, 3 Bahadur, Song of Lahore, and the Academy Award-winning Saving Face and Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. Her visual contributions have earned her several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short (2012 and 2016) and the Emmy Award in the same category (2010 and 2011), as well as the One World Media Award for Broadcast Journalist of the Year (2007).
Her films have been shown on several international channels such as PBS, CNN, Discovery Channel, Al Jazeera English, and Channel 4. She has also won six Emmy Awards, including two International Emmy Awards for Current Affairs in the Documentary category for Pakistani Taliban Generation and Saving Face. Her Oscar wins for Saving Face made her the first Pakistani woman to win an Academy Award, and she is one of 11 female directors ever to win an Academy Award for a non-fiction film. She is also the first non-American to win the Livingston Young Journalist Award. The 2015 animated adventure 3 Bahadur made her the first Pakistani to make a computer-animated feature film. In 2007, Obaid-Chinoy helped found the Pakistan Citizens Archive, whose projects focus on preserving Pakistan’s cultural and social heritage. She is also the Blood Safety Ambassador for the National Blood Safety Program of Pakistan. Obaid-Chinoy is a TED Fellow and Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Pakistan’s highest civilian award.
In 2012, Time magazine named Sharmeen to its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. On 23 March 2012, Obaid-Chinoy was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, the second-highest civilian award for bringing glory to Pakistan as a filmmaker, by the President of Pakistan. Sharmeen was ranked 37th in Desiclub.com’s 50 Most Stylish Designs of 2009. In 2012, she published a 5-part series called Ho Yaqeen (Believe). In 2014, SOC Films and Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy released the 12-part Aaj News series Aghaz-e-Safari, which spoke to ordinary Pakistanis across the country on issues such as child abuse, domestic violence, gun violence, water scarcity, and land adhesion, etc. In 2014, SOC Films released the 6-part series I Heart Karachi. On April 19, 2015, Song of Lahore, directed and produced by her and Andy Schocken, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and was runner-up for the Tribeca Audience Award. In September 2015, Broad Green Pictures acquired the US distribution rights to Song of Lahore and announced the release of the film in select US theaters.
In October 2015, the film was submitted for consideration in the 2016 Academy Awards documentary series. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Song of Lahore premiered in Europe at the International Documentary Film Festival in Amsterdam (IDFA) on 18–29 November 2015. The film premiered in the Middle East at the 12th annual Dubai International Film Festival in December 2015. On 22 May 2015, Waadi Animations released Pakistan’s first animated film “3 Bahadur” directed by Obaid-Chinoy. The film is dedicated to instilling courage in the youth of Pakistan. The film’s heroes Amna, Kamil, and Saad were highly anticipated and although 3 Bahadur only opened on 50 screens in Pakistan, it became Pakistan’s highest-grossing animated film of all time, grossing 6.5 million rupees, surpassing the Rio record 2. 3 Bahadur was also screened at the Montreal World Film Festival in Canada in August 2015.
On September 11, 2015, Obaid-Chinoy’s feature-length documentary Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers 2015, co-directed and produced with Geeta Gandbhir, had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The film follows the journey of three Bangladeshi soldiers who are sent to Haiti as part of a UN peacekeeping mission. The film premiered at the Mumbai Film Festival on 29 October 2015 for its Asian premiere and screened at the DOC NYC Festival in November 2015. On 15 February 2016, Obaid-Chinoy met with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad to discuss the necessary steps to close the loopholes that allow those guilty of honor killings to walk free.
On 22 February 2016, the first screening of The Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness was held at the Prime Minister’s Secretariat in Islamabad, which was opened by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself with a speech on the necessary changes. to prevent honor killings in Pakistan. The film was screened on 17 February 2016 at the UN headquarters in New York as part of a discussion on women and peacekeeping. The event was moderated by UN Police Adviser Stefen Feller and attended by a plenary session, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Permanent Representative of Bangladesh Masud Bin Momen. The documentary won the Humanitarian Award at the RiverRun International Film Festival on April 21, 2016, and won at the Bentonville Film Festival on May 7, 2016.
On February 28, 2016, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness won her the second Academy Award for Best Documentary Short at the 88th Academy Awards. This is the first Oscar win for her film company SOC Films and the second Oscar for Obaid-Chinoy as a director. Later in 2017, the documentary also won the International Emmy Award for Best Documentary. Song of Lahore was released on May 20, 2016, in select theaters in New York and Los Angeles. The release of the film was accompanied by an official soundtrack that included collaborations with artists such as Wynton Marsalis.
Obaid-Chinoy’s business venture ‘Sulagta Sitara’ is a documentary series launched in 2016 on ARY Digital. The series shares the stories of Pakistani cities that have gone through hardships but still manage to shine through the darkness. In January 2017, she was invited to speak at the 47th World Economic Forum, becoming the first artist to chair a WEF annual meeting. It took place from 17-20 January 2017 under the theme “Responsible and responsible management”. More than 2,500 participants from almost 100 countries took part in more than 300 sessions.
Being the first artist and a Pakistani to chair the convention, Obaid-Chinoy said, “It is a great honor to be the first artist to be allowed to chair the prestigious World Economic Forum in Davos in 2017. I have always believed that the true sign of a prosperous society is the amount of investment in its cultural and artistic infrastructure. Now it is more and more recognized that business and economy must go together with culture and art for society to develop, and I am very proud to be able to represent both the artistic community and my country. Pakistan!” 1-9 July 2017 Obaid-Chinoy’s new work – HOME1947 – opened at the Manchester International Festival. The immersive installation focuses on a series of short films depicting families in India and Pakistan who were among the more than 10 million people displaced by the partition. In the films, we see “home” through the eyes of migrants who left their homes and never returned – “home” as a physical place, but also a concept, an ideal, a shared tradition.
The exhibition then traveled to Mumbai in August, where it was part of the Godrej Indian Cultural Laboratory Memorial Museum. Home 1947 premiered in Pakistan in October 2017 at the Heritage Now festival in Lahore, before it was most recently transferred to Karachi in December 2017, where the show managed to attract over 16,000 visitors. Obaid-Chinoy’s documentary series Look But With Love, released on Within in October 2017, is Pakistan’s first virtual reality documentary series focusing on Pakistanis working to change the socio-political landscape of their communities through causes. they are passionate. In November 2017, Obaid-Chinoy was awarded the 2017 Knight International Journalism Award by the Washington-based International Center for Journalists [ICFJ]. The award recognizes Chinoy’s efforts to document the human-caused destruction caused by extremism that has had a major impact. “At great personal risk, Obaid-Chinoy and al Masri confronted terrorism head-on and went behind the scenes to report countless violations,” said ICFJ President Joyce Barnathan. The ICFJ Knight International Journalism Award recognizes media professionals who demonstrate a passionate commitment to excellent reporting that changes lives around the world.
In 2017, recipients include Chinoy, whose work and efforts to highlight Pakistan’s honor killing loophole led to legislative change in Pakistan. In 2018, the Aagah series began, which educates women about rights and how to navigate the police and legal system. Aagahi gained widespread popularity among women who shared the videos and commented on their usefulness. In 2018, Obaid-Chinoy spoke at TED in Vancouver about the impact of mobile cinema, having traveled across Pakistan showing films to small towns and communities in all provinces. Cultivate critical thinking and give children a broader view of the world and empower women. In June 2018, it was announced that on October 2, 2018, the HBO Sports documentary Student Athlete would debut on the HBO network, exposing the struggles faced by NCAA athletes who earn billions for their institutions. The film is produced by LeBron James, Maverick Carter’s SpringHill Entertainment, and Steve Stoute’s United Masters, and directed by Obaid-Chinoy and Trish Dalton. In September 2019, Obaid-Chinoy premiered her new animated film Sitara: Let Girls Dream in theaters in New York. The film follows the story of Paris, a 14-year-old girl who dreams of becoming a pilot while growing up in a society that does not allow her to dream. It is entirely produced in Pakistan under the banner of Obaid-Chinoy’s animation company Waadi Animations in association with Vice Studios and Gucci Chime For Change. The film’s soundtrack was composed by Emmy-winning composer Laura Karpman. Recorded and mixed at Abbey Road Studios, the world’s most famous and iconic studio, Karpman’s score was instrumental in bringing the film’s story and characters to life.
Most recently, her animated miniseries Children’s Stories of Pakistan’s Inspirational Figures explores the relationships of local heroes with their parents. Obaid-Chinoy is the Honorary Consul General of Norway in Karachi, Pakistan. In September 2020, it was announced that Obaid-Chinoy would direct the Ms. Marvel series starring Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah, and Meera Menon for Disney to bring Marvel Studios’ first Muslim hero to the big screen. This opportunity made her the first Pakistani director to join Marvel. In October 2022, it was announced that Obaid-Chinoy will direct an untitled film in the Star Wars universe, written by Steven Knight, from an earlier draft by Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson. In April 2023, during the Star Wars Celebration, Disney officially announced that Obaid-Chinoy will direct the film, set 15 years after The Rise of Skywalker, with Daisy Ridley reprising her role as Rey.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Relationship
Sharmeen was married to Tariq Aman but their relationship did not work well so they decided to take a divorce in 2006. In 2007, she got married for the second time to Fahd Kamal Chinoy. He is the Chief Executive Officer & Executive Director at Pakistan Cables Ltd. The couple has a daughter named Amelia Chinoy.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Net Worth
Sharmeen has a net worth of $1.7 million. She is one of the wealthiest journalists.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Education
Sharmeen completed her schooling at the Convent of Jesus and Mary, Karachi, Pakistan, and later transferred to Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, Pakistan. In 2002, she moved United Stated to study bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government at Smith College. She later earned two master’s degrees in communication and international political studies from Stanford University.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Instagram Account
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Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Physical Stats
|in centimeters- 165 cm
in meters- 1.65 m
in feet & inches- 5’ 5”
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy Wiki/Bio
|Date of Birth
|12 November 1978 (Sunday)
|Age (as of 2023)
|• Convent of Jesus and Mary, Karachi, Pakistan
• Karachi Grammar School, Karachi, Pakistan
|• Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
• Stanford University, California, America
|• Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government
• Master’s degrees in Communication
• Master’s degrees in International Policy Studies
|Relationships & More
|• First Husband: Tariq Aman (Div; 2006)
• Second Husband: Fahd Kamal Chinoy (m. 2007)
|Father- Sheikh Obaid (Businessman)
Mother- Saba Obaid (Social worker)
|Daughter- Amelia Chinoy
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