Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a living legend and a woman of epic proportion requires no introduction in the annals of history of Pakistan. But honoring formality, she has to be described as a Pakistan’s high profile filmmaker and an activist. After hoarding the filmmaking skills from abroad, she brought her knowledge on the surface by publishing the work in raising the status of women in Pakistan. Her work addressed this serious issue, as she had aimed and foreseen the dire need of instilling gender sensitivities in every Pakistani.

Upbringing and Private Life

Chinoy is Scorpio born woman and justifies her characteristics of being thriving and ambitious. On 12 November 1978, a victorious child graced the house of Sheikh Obaid , a business man by profession and Saba Obaid , a social worker. Born in the city of lights, Karachi, Sharmeen dug up the aim to shine brighter than beams — truth be accepted she did give them a competition. She not only blinked her eyes open in this city, but also blossomed as a passionate girl here. Chinoy was enrolled in the first class education system from the early years of her academic life. Being a student at Karachi Grammar school advocates the aforementioned fact — as this school tops the chart of the most valued and elite school of the region. Admitting not being much into studies, Chinoy even then managed to garner pretty much good grades throughout her educational life.

Little girl chose to push her dreams to a challenging ride. Her passion to acquire her aim drove her to United States of America in 2002 where she received her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Smith College. Following her graduation from this College, she marked her presence at Stanford University and in 2004 successfully received a double master’s degree in International Policy Studies and Communication.

Work and Contributions

An undying interest and a burning passion for film-making compelled her to grab the camera and capture her dreams through its lens. She started working her sweat off on the two short films, being clouded of the fact that one day her work will shout her success and win her awards.  Chinoy shortly after returning to Pakistan burrowed herself up in her film making career with full swing. Truth itself has manifested regarding Sharmeen owning the honor of the pioneering person who had enlarged the mechanism of film-making and documentaries in Pakistan. Her first film Terror’s Children received a warm reception. The recent prominent work includes an animated venture named as 3 Bahadur.

Her remarkable and distinguished work includes her long termed relationship with PBS TV series titled as “Frontline World”. For continuous five years, Chinoy was successful in making videos and reports which were published online from Pakistan. Her work was not only esteemed in Pakistan, as even the international channels like CNN, Channel 4 and Discovery were keen to air and feature her films. She is not only concerned with making documentaries on the prevailing conditions and situations of Pakistan but has also worked as an active philanthropist.

Sharmeen ideas are surrounded by invisible boundaries touching the infinity, as they aren’t restricted till films only.  She implemented those thoughts into fully planned actions by serving as the ambassador for blood safety for Pakistan’s national blood safety program. In addition to this, she outpoured the love for her county by helping the Citizen Archive of Pakistan to preserve the country’s cultural and social heritage.

In the year 2016 she partnered with ARY networks to release a series of documentary under the banner of “Sulagta Sitara” which aimed to knock some motivation and a ray of hope among the masses. The series featured stories of people from disadvantaged backgrounds, and how they were able to fight all odds to shine among the rest. Moreover recently in 2017 she initiated an organization targeted at women. Its objective is to generate deep apprehension and consciousness about mental health in Pakistani women.


Sharmeen’s formula of sincerity and loyalty towards the work was bound to spark and this untitled queen through her sheer talent was able steal accolades from every quarter. Traces of appreciation of the two documentaries “Saving Face” and “A girl in the River: The price of Forgiveness” molded into the shape of two Oscars she won.

In 2016 February, she had a meeting with the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif where  the screening of “A Girl in the River” took place. After which she discussed the laws that could decrease the activities pertaining to honor killing in Pakistan and emphasized that people are hiding themselves within the canvas of deception and easy escape in the name of honor killing.

Upon receiving the Oscar for “A Girl in the River”, she gave the credit to all her team members and made a special mention of all men including her father who supported their girls in every aspect of life. While leaving the stage she mentioned about the power and the influence any film can have, stressing upon the law of honor killing which Pakistani Prime Minister had made amendments to after watching this movie. In the year 2012, Obaid was bestowed with the highest civilian award “HILAL-E-IMTIAZ” as her visual offerings had earned a great respect and dignity for Pakistan around the globe. She made the blood of Pakistanis swell with pride by successfully earning a name under 100 most influential people in the world.

Highlighting public’s reaction, the people have enthusiastically hugged the ideas of her films and documentaries. Sharmeen had nailed her aim of touching several souls through her work, as out of inspiration people have started to change for better in their own space. Her art of illustrating things from different angles have earned her many awards and titles .The prominent ones include Lux Style Award, two Academy awards and six Emmy awards named for her. Sharmeen have had a very creative and experimental nature for she always opted for new things which Pakistani film industry never unveiled. By sinking herself in the work of first Pakistani computer animated movie and honoring to be the first artist to co-chair the world Economic Forum in 2017, she reflected her innovative skills.


“ Don’t give up on your dreams” — this was the last sentence she mouthed when she received the Oscar for Saving Face Pakistan. Her never ending endeavors to uplift the status of women in Pakistan is commendable, as  she even dedicated her award to all the women in Pakistan who don’t give up. It’s sweepingly difficult to write about her in limited words space. The first lady ever to win Oscar for Pakistan is a perfect combination of victory and fearlessness, who continues to inspire the masses through her strong will and positivity. In nutshell diplomatic dexterity coupled with the determination makes the perfect definition of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy!

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