Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: People treat me like a man! | Pakistan Today

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy: People treat me like a man!

Documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy talks about her future plans, her family and more, post the first Oscar win for Pakistan. When asked about her future plans, she said: “You can look forward to more storytelling. I am currently planning my next film whilst simultaneously producing an animated children’s show geared towards local audiences. On her achievements in a chauvinistic and politically turbulent society, Sharmeen said she never encountered any gender-based hurdles whilst shooting in Pakistan. “During filming, I have found that most people are eager to tell their stories and make their voices heard. Most of the time, people are so taken aback with my forthrightness that they treat me like a man.” Sharmeen says her family has played a pivotal role in her career. Her mother ensured that her daughters received the best education and was supportive of her journalistic aspirations. She said: “My father continues to serve as an inspiration for me, and I owe a formidable amount of my success to his guidance. I have been blessed with a very encouraging husband who has always pushed me to work harder and produce the best work that I can. My daughter, Amelia, is the reason why I make films; I want the Pakistan that she inherits to be better than the one that we currently live in.” Sharmeen, when asked about the comparisons drawn between her and Hina Rabbani Khar as the poised, intelligent and good-looking face of Pakistan, said rather than making the men feel insecure, it makes them recognise that the country is producing strong enterprising women. Sharmeen says the Academy Awards highlighted the cause behind ‘Saving Face’. “I also wanted to represent another aspect of Pakistan; one that takes ownership of its faults and celebrates those who are fighting for justice through a creative medium,” she said.

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