The following coverage is a companion piece to our Annual Academy Award Prediction. This post is an unedited version. Links to the published version are, as always, at the end of the post.
Living the Dream
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
Predicting the Best Shorts (live action, documentary and animation) during the Oscar pre-rush is a privileged and difficult undertaking that baffles experts and creates the most upsets annually. This happens for a couple of reasons: apart from academy voters, almost no one has access or means to see these films beforehand. These titles either play in select screenings or festivals or are generally available only after the Oscar season ends.
The notion continues with "Saving Face", Pakistan’s first official Oscar nominee, which will air on HBO, March 8th, a week after the Academy Awards end.
"Saving Face" is a story about two acid-attack survivors: Zakia and Rukhsana and their attempts to bring their assailants to justice. It is also the story about a London-based Pakistani-born plastic surgeon, Dr. Mohammad Jawad and his aims to help these women in desperation.
Guessing which short will win this year is like aiming a shot in the dark, with your blindfolds on. Judging from industry sources, so far the votes are almost equally tied between "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom", "The Incident in New Baghdad", "God is the Bigger Elvis" and "Saving Face", which has a slight advantage in overall numbers. “The Barber of Birmingham”, the fifth of the nominated titles is, for now, the one with the least support.
Now, as far as we are concerned, "Saving Face", has a few things going for it: 1) It is a humane story with women in plight angle, almost sure to grapple voter attention. 2) Co-direction from a Pakistani documentarian – and that too with an Emmy to her credit. 3) Her directing partner (Daniel Junge) owns an Oscar nomination.
I wouldn’t be surprised if "Saving Face" ends up being Pakistan’s first Oscar winner this year out of sheer momentum (as is often the Oscar way).
Regardless of its chance of winning "Saving Face" has the country’s support and the distinction of being an Oscar nominee – and that too, is a dream most people dream about in a lifetime. Right now, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (with Pakistan in tow), is living that dream.
The published version is at: http://www.dawn.com/2012/02/26/living-the-dream-2.html
In the paper, the coverage looks like this:
and in close up like this: