Academy Award-winning Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy recently participated in the 2014 Women in the World Summit held on Wednesday at the David H Koch Theatre in the Lincoln Centre Plaza, New York. The annual Summit highlighted the stories and personal accounts of inspiring female leaders who shared their stories of courage and determination at the event. The summit featured prominent international female personalities including Hillary Clinton, Christine Lagarde, Meryl Streep and many more.
Chinoy participated in different sessions at the event, including a special session titled “Girls In The World: The Bravest Of The Brave” where she celebrated Pakistan’s heroic young activists along with US Ambassador-at-Large for Global Women’s Issues Catherine M Russell, Dream Foundation Trust President Humaira Bachal and Sughar Empowerment Society Founder and Director Khalida Brohi. Chinoy also participated in a session titled “Women Are The Peacemakers” with Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security Executive Director Melanne Verveer and Republic of Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga, which was moderated by Women in the World Founder and Live Media CEO Tina Brown.
The Academy-winning director has also introduced a new social-issue focused television show titled ‘Aghaz-e-Safar’, a unique one-hour social justice talk show that tackles the most pressing social issues facing Pakistan today. Hosted by musician and Fakhre Alam, each episode explores a specific issue and studies them through on set interviews, short video profiles, first-hand accounts and expert analysis. The first episode of the new show will air exclusively on April 13, 2014 on Aaj TV.
The series aims to cover a diverse range of key issues and will focus on particular topics including Child Abuse in Episode 1, Labour in Episode 2, Medical Malpractice in Episode 3, Sexual Harassment in Episode 4, Land in Episode 5, Minorities in Episode 6, Gun Control in Episode 7, Domestic Violence in Episode 8, Disabilities in Episode 9, Water in Episode 10, Unsung Heroes in Episode 11 and Education in its final episode.
Over the course of the past one-year, the ‘Aghaz-e-Safar’ team travelled across Pakistan to source compelling and engaging stories and uncovered accounts that have never been explored on Pakistani television before. The team’s findings uncovered extraordinary narratives in seemingly ordinary places; from small villages that boast of unprecedented change to thriving urban centres that had reinvented themselves to deal with new challenges, bearing witness to Pakistan’s fighting spirit first hand. ‘Aghaz-e-Safar’ endeavours to be a celebration of that spirit and is envisioned as the beginning of a movement that aims to inspire and enlighten audiences to be their own change makers.
Speaking about her recent initiatives, Chinoy said, “It’s always a humbling feeling to represent Pakistan in foreign forums such as the 2014 Women in the World Summit. This is my second year at the conference and my first experience as a host. I feel proud to be able to bring inspirational stories from Pakistan to such an esteemed audience. I am also very proud to introduce ‘Aghaz-e-Safar’, a passion project for the entire team at SOC Films. We hope that the show will act as a moral compass for Pakistani society and will bring to light a variety of difficult and complex social issues.”