New York: Two-time Academy Award Winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy headlined the inaugural Women’s Initiative luncheon hosted by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences in New York, as a keynote speaker.
The event, held at Rockefeller Center’s Rainbow Room, drew much of New York’s filmmaking elite, including actors Laura Dern (“Jurassic Park”), Constance Wu (“Hustlers”), Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) and Meg Ryan; producers Amy Pascal (“Ghostbusters”, “Spider-Man”), Christine Vachon (“Dark Waters”) and Jane Rosenthal (“The Irishman”); documentarians Barbara Kopple and Laura Poitras; “Honey Boy” director Alma Har’el and actor director Greta Gerwig (“Lady Bird”), to name a few.
Addressing a crowd of over 175 Academy Members, Sharmeen’s talk focused on the power of film to transform the way women see themselves.
She also talked about her mobile cinema initiative, Dekh Magar Pyaar Se, which she launched in 2017 and since has travelled across 300 locations screening films in small towns and villages educating women about their rights, bringing thought provoking films to the youth of Pakistan.
Sharmeen also spoke about her journey as a journalist which began at the age of 14 and how she is a self-taught filmmaker who made her first documentary film at the age of 21.
The audience heard her describe her activism to impact legislation and how she is focusing on animation to create a new generation of heroes for children in Pakistan
She also spoke about her latest animated film SITARA: LET GIRLS DREAM and its message for young girls to dream big and to parents to invest in those dreams.
Sharmeen concluded the afternoon with rousing remarks drawing on her hard-fought experiences as a filmmaker and journalist. “I see every single day that young women are changing the way they see themselves,” said Obaid-Chinoy. “And film is empowering them to do that.”