Published in Arynews, on Oct 17th, 2018,
NEW YORK: Academy Award winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has won the 2018 Eliasson Global Leadership Prize awarded by The Tällberg Foundation in New York.
The filmmaker and activist, who has previously won accolades for highlighting social issues through the medium of film, is the first Pakistani to win the prestigious award.
The award recognises Sharmeen as arguably one of the most articulate global storytellers of her generation. “Her film work aims at bringing attention to issues that societies find deeply uncomfortable to acknowledge, and then telling stories in ways that are compelling enough to impact on the underlying social and human distress.”
The jury selected Sharmeen because of her “increasingly insistent and effective leadership not just in changing minds, but in addressing the facts that create outcomes that should be unacceptable in the 21st century.”
Sharmeen’s filmography is extensive as since 2000 she has made more than a dozen multi-award winning films in over 10 countries. Among her films are Saving Face (2012), A Journey of a Thousand Miles: Peacekeepers (2015) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).
Sharmeen said she is honoured to receive the prize “at a time when holding up a mirror to society comes with a heavy price”.
“With colleagues being jailed and killed around the world for simply speaking the truth, we need to have the courage to persevere. I remain committed to telling difficult stories in the hope that the conversations they spark will change the way we all see the world,” she stated on winning award.
Other than Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, the 2018 laureates include Rafael Yuste, a leading neuroscientist and artificial intelligence researcher, and a trio of three clerics working to promote peace in the Central African Republic.
The Eliasson Global Leadership Prize is named in honour of accomplished diplomat Jan Eliasson and is given annually to outstanding leaders from any country and any discipline whose work is innovative, optimistic, courageous, rooted in universal values and global in implication.
The winners were chosen from among 825 nominees from 130 countries and dozens of different occupations, positions and causes. They will be honoured at a ceremony in Mexico City on November 15.