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Pakistan wins its first Oscar with Saving Face

February 27, 2012 12:18 IST

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel JungeA Pakistani short film on the tribulation and courage of victims of acid attacks won a historic trophy at the Academy Awards this year, making its co-director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy the first from the country to win an Oscar.

The film Saving Face by Daniel Junge and Chinoy -- the first ever Pakistani film to be nominated for the prestigious award -- won the Documentary (Short Subject).

The film follows British plastic surgeon Dr Mohammad Jawad, who returns to his homeland to help victims of acid burns and performs reconstructive surgeries on survivors.

It also follows the story of a woman as she fights to see that the perpetrators of the crime are imprisoned for life. Chinoy dedicated the award to the women of Pakistan.

"All the women in Pakistan working for change, don't give up on your dreams, this is for you," she said.

The documentary was pitted against God Is the Bigger Elvis, a Rebecca Cammisa and Julie Anderson film about a mid-century starlet who chose the church over Hollywood, and The Barber of Birmingham, a Gail Dolgin and Robin Fryday film that follows the life of 85-year-old barber James Armstrong and the legacy of the civil rights movement.

Other contenders were James Spione's war film Incident in New Baghdad and The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom, a film that follows survivors of Japan's 2011 earthquake and their struggle to recover from the catastrophic waves that crushed their homes and lives.

Photograph: Jason Merritt/Getty Images

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