Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker hopes Oscar win will help bring change in Pakistan

LOS ANGELES -- Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy is revelling in her Oscar win, but it's the prospect of real change in Pakistan that has her beaming.

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The 37-year-old claimed an Academy Award on Sunday for her documentary on honour killings in Pakistan, "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness."

The film examines the case of an 18-year-old girl who survived a brutal attack by her father and uncle who disapproved of her husband.

Obaid-Chinoy says she's heartened by reports that two people in Pakistan were sentenced Monday morning for an honour killing, an indication there might be a crackdown on the brutal tradition.

She says she celebrated her Oscar win at an after-party alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck, and chatted with "Mad Max" star Charlize Theron and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.

"A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" is set to air on HBO Canada on March 7.

"For me, the biggest win is the fact that the issue I'm trying to highlight has gotten such a tremendous response, and it will continue to," Obaid-Chinoy said Monday morning from Los Angeles.

"This morning in Pakistan they sentenced two people ... for an honour killing, so it's already having some sort of reverberations. What more can a filmmaker ask for?"

Obaid-Chinoy also won an Oscar in 2012 for the documentary short "Saving Face," about acid attacks.

"A Girl in the River" is the latest in a series of socially charged investigative films from her Karachi-based film company SOC Film.

Rights groups estimate that about 1,000 Pakistani women are killed every year for "bringing shame" to their families. The brutal tradition allows murderers to avoid punishment if they are forgiven by the family of their victims.



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