New Delhi : Pakistan’s first Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chenoy hopes that her efforts to make animation mainstream in her home country herald a new era in the country’s film industry, which is witnessing a “rebirth” with “bold and socially conscious cinema”.
“Saving Face”, a film about the horrors of acid attacks, brought her the prestigious Academy Award and global acclaim in 2012.
Now the documentary filmmaker has put her creative forces behind Urdu entertainer “3 Bahadur”, said to be the country’s first animated feature. She says the film, which took two years to make, is “filling a gap in Pakistani cinema”.
“In a country of (over) 180 million people, the resurgence of cinema is occurring at a rapid rate. An unprecedented amount of multiplexes are springing up all over the country to cater to growing demands for quality entertainment,” Obaid-Chinoy told IANS in an e-mail interview from Karachi.
“Pakistan has one of the youngest populations in the world with about 42 percent of people under the age of 14; yet there is virtually no original children’s programming in theatres or television in the country,” she added.
“Unlike Indian cinema, which has solidified its place in the global arena, Pakistan is now witnessing the rebirth of its film industry. I have no doubt that this new wave of bold and socially conscious cinema will carve out a unique place for itself in the international sphere,” she said.
The filmmaker, who has even won an Emmy Award for her documentary “Children of the Taliban” on recruitment of child terrorists, said her homeland has several talented illustrators, writers, animators and visual effect artists.
“Unfortunately, we haven’t done justice to them. We’ve not given them the space and resources required to show off just how talented they are. We have all the ingredients to one day be a nation that produces multiple animated films every year,” she said, adding that the country is replete with many colleges and universities offering quality training in animation.