The Door Is Now Open!

Muslim Matters

The Door Is Now Open!

By Almas Akhtar

Rise of Muslim Film Makers on The World Stage

Asghar Farhadi, director of Iranian film “A Separation” receives Academy Award.

The 84th Academy Awards ,Sunday night provided a great deal of encouragement to International Film Makers. ”The Artist” a French Film won the award for “Best Picture”. An Iranian film by the name of “A Separation”was nominated in two categories Best Foreign Language Film and for Best Original Screenplay.” A Separation” won in the foreign film category winning the first Academy Award for Iran. Iran was also nominated for an Academy Award in 1998 for it’s film “Children of Heaven.”

Pakistan’s Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy won an Academy Award along with Daniel Jung for their short subject documentary “Saving Face”. This was Pakistan’s First Academy Award.
It was a great night for both Asghar Farhadi and Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy.

“A Separation” talks about the social and religious problems faced  by a  Iranian middle class family. It also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film,last month. Asghar Farhidi was born in Isfahan, Iran–he studied at Tehran University; he has been associated with the Iranian Young Cinema Society and has directed a few TV series.

His work has also been acknowledged at the Berlin Film Festival and Tribeca Film Festival. He accepted the  Academy Award with great humiliation and a wish that the glorious culture of his beautiful country will one day  be appreciated. The diplomatic relations between Iran and the Western World have been badly damaged in the past few years. This achievement by an Iranian film director in a field which is often dominated by people who belong to Western Countries will certainly help encourage young film directors to work on newer subjects. Mr. Farhadi dedicated his award to his countrymen he quoted “the people of my country who respect all cultures and civilizations and despise hostility and resentment.”

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy was born in Karachi,she attended Karachi Grammar School, Pakistan and Smith College, USA.

Her documentary Pakistan: Children of the Taliban won an Emmy Award in 2010.

She is also the only non-American to win a Livingston Award. Her short documentary “Saving Face” is about a British-Pakistani plastic surgeon Dr  Mohammed  Jawad, who helped female victims of acid burns in the cities of Lahore, Islamabad, Gujranwala and Karachi. Ms Chinoy dedicated her Academy Award to “the women of Pakistan who are working for change” she added “dont give up on your dreams……this is for you”. Pakistan is a very poor country where there are very few filmography schools, rise of a film maker on international stage is a great achievement.

The achievements of Sharmeen Chinoy and Asghar Farhadi at the 84th Annual Academy Awards was a testament that anyone and everyone can produce good informative films for the global audience.


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