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Friday, February 23, 2024

Star Wars announces first woman and person of colour director for new film

From Pakistan to Hollywood, look at Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy's historic directorial role in the Star Wars universe.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistan-born filmmaker, journalist, and activist, is set to make history as the first woman and person of colour to direct a Star Wars film. Obaid-Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award winner, having won the Best Documentary Short Subject category for her films, Saving Face in 2012, and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness in 2016. Her documentaries are known for highlighting social injustices, particularly violence against women in Pakistan.

Profile of Obaid-Chinoy

Obaid-Chinoy was born on November 12, 1978, in Karachi, Pakistan. She completed her early education in Karachi before moving to the United States, where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Government from Smith College in Massachusetts. She later attended Stanford University, where she earned a Master’s degree in Communication. She began her career as a journalist and documentary filmmaker in Pakistan, where she worked for various news organisations, including CNN, PBS, and Channel 4 News.

Exploring her achievements 

Obaid-Chinoy’s work has received critical acclaim and recognition from around the world. Her documentary, Saving Face, tells the story of Pakistani women who have been the victims of acid attacks and their fight for justice. The film won the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject in 2012, making Obaid-Chinoy the first Pakistani to win an Academy Award. Her film, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, focuses on the practice of honour killings in Pakistan and the struggle of a survivor to seek justice. The film won the Best Documentary Short Subject category at the 88th Academy Awards in 2016.

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Aside from her film making, Obaid-Chinoy is known for her commitment to using her platform to raise awareness about social issues and to promote social change. In addition to her work as a filmmaker, she is a co-founder of the Citizens Archive of Pakistan, a non-profit organisation that seeks to preserve the history and heritage of Pakistan through the collection and preservation of oral histories, photographs, and other materials.

A New Era for Star Wars

The selection of a director for a Star Wars film is always an exciting event, and the recent announcement of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy as the director of a new instalment is no exception. This historic decision is a major milestone for diversity and representation in Hollywood, where white male directors have long dominated the industry. Obaid-Chinoy’s appointment also serves as recognition of her exceptional talent and expertise as a filmmaker and storyteller, highlighting her commitment to telling important stories and creating social change through her work.

The announcement of Obaid-Chinoy’s Star Wars film comes as part of a larger announcement from Lucasfilm, the studio behind the Star Wars franchise. The studio has announced that it is working on three new Star Wars films, each set in a different period of the Star Wars narrative and each with a different director. James Mangold, a two-time Oscar nominee, will direct one of the films, which will focus on the origins of the Jedi order. Dave Filoni, who has produced several successful Star Wars television series, will direct the third film.

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The announcement of three new Star Wars movies set to be released in the coming years has caused a stir in the entertainment industry. However, what has caught the attention of many is the news that Pakistan-born Oscar-winning director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman and person of colour to direct a Star Wars film. This is a major milestone for diversity and representation in Hollywood, which has long been criticised for its lack of diversity, especially when it comes to directors. Obaid-Chinoy’s selection marks a positive shift towards greater representation in the industry.